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Over the years, with the tremendous growth of scientific,knowledge and valuable

informations the three aforesaid disciplines have fully emerged as complete


sciences within their own spheres.
Though copies volumes of ancient literatures in chinese, egyptian , greek ,unani and
indian system of herbal medicines were found to contain factual and invariably
exaggerated claims of their therapeutic efficacies, yet when they are evaluated
intensively on a scientific basic with the advent of lates analytical techniques, such
as : . It has adequately and promptly provided an elaborated structure of various
complex chemical constituents. A few select typical examples of known compounds
are given in Table 1.3.

Importance of natural of natural drug subtances

In general, natural drug subtances offer four vital and appreciable roles in the
modern system of medicine there by adequately justfying their leitimate presence
in the prevalling therapeutic arsenal , namely :
i. serve as extremely useful natural drugs
ii. provide basic compounds affording less toxic and more effective drug molecules
iii. Modification of inactive natural products by suitable biological / chemical means
into potent drugs
Th aforesaid aspects shall be briefly dealt with in the sections that follows

Serve as extremely useful natural drugs

On recent survey conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) globally ,


around 20,000 medicinal plants are being used profusely either in Pharmaceutical
industry or in folk medicines. Interestingly, about 1,4 % do possess well-established,
widely-proven and broadly accepted unequivocally active constituents.
De Souza et al. in 1982 opined on a serious note that. the usual success rate of
discovering new drugs from natural sources is solely based not only on the
conceptions but also on the implementation of ingenious comprehensive strategies
which invariably explore and exploit the untrapped potenovel ovel and altered
genotypes,
tial of the natural sources. In fact, there are four ways by which the above
objectives many be accomplished reasonably and legitimately, such as :
a. Isolation of novel genotypes from marine and terrestrial ecosystem,
b. Genetic engineering : creating novel and altered genotypes,
c. Biochemical manipulation of selected pathways, and
d. Supersensitive and specific selection thechniques and evaluation for varied
bioactivities.
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It is pertinent to mention here that the production of genetically-engineered-drugs,


bears fundamentally a close resemblance to the various fermentation processes
normally employed for the antibiotics. The major noteworthy difference in this
spesific instance lies in the fact that a genecontrolling the production of the desired
constituent is virtually transferred from its basic source to a fast growing microbial
cell line where by permitting the large scale production in comparatively a much
shorter duration.
However, it is rather a 'difficult task' to isolate a gene coding for a particular
antibiotic. interestingly, in the actinomycetin fungi, the 'gene' was separated
convenirntly from the chromosomal genes and cloned on naturally occurring
plasmids. it has been observed that thoughg plasmids are found in streptomycetes
consists of several gene absolutely necessary for the prediction of antibiotic.
in general, a number of methods are employed to identify clones that usually
harbour the plasmids carrying antibiotic-biosynthetic genes, namely:
- mustants that are found to blocked at different steps in the aminoglycosidic-
experiments-pathways are known and also available. these 'blocked mutants' may
be employed as recipients for the prediction of respective genes from shotgun-
cloning-experiments. shotgun cloning is the isolation of a specific DNA sequence
and subsequents screening for the desired phenotype. the plasmids eventually
isolated from the transformants, wherein antibiotic-biosynthesis is restored by the
cloned genes, would ultimately the introduced for maximizing the final yield
- the latest technique of insertional mutagenesis may be used effectively to obtain
not only the mutant but also the cloned DNA in a single experiment.
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