Medicinal plants have been used in healthcare since early civilization. Studies have been carried out worldwide to verify their effectiveness and some of the findings have led to the production of plant-based medicines useful against various diseases like cancer, diabetes, and many infectious diseases. In the proposed research project, we will be screening some medicinal plants from Nepal belonging to the family of Apocynaceae, Rubiaceae and Loganiaceae for the discovery of structurally novel compounds especially focused on Monoterpene Indole Alkaloids (MIAs). Owing to their broad usage in traditional medicine, large variety of phytochemicals have been isolated.
However, secondary metabolites from endemic medicinal plants from Nepal have been rarely reported. Therefore, the plant materials for this project will be selected focusing the ethno botanical aspects of Nepalese medicinal plants. Rauvolfia serpentine, Rauvolfia tetraphylla and Ervatamia divaricata belonging to Apocynaceae family Mitragyna parvifolia and Uncaria rhynchophylla belonging to Rubiaceae family and Strychnos nux-vomica belonging to Loganiaceae family will be selected for the research.
The plant materials will be extracted and screened by using chemical, physical and spectroscopic techniques and various bioassays. Purification and structural elucidation will be performed by spectroscopic technique such as HPLC. The Profiling of cellular targets of bioactive indole alkaloids will be carried out via multiple proteomics approach. And finally chemoproteomics probe will be developed for profiling of the indole alkaloid’s biosynthetic enzymes.
This project aims to isolate and characterize novel and bioactive compounds, obtain new drug that will lead to identification of novel pharmacophores, perform a rational design to develop new derivatives with better activity profiles and finally to design and synthesis of new analogues with an improved profile of their biological activities.
Keywords: Indole alkaloids, Bio-active natural products, Drug discovery, Medicinal plants