Bioactive properties of endophytic fungus: Pharmaceutical perspective  

Bioactive
compounds derived from animal, plant and microbes have been used for their
therapeutic applications for centuries. Such products usually include secondary
metabolites from symbiotically associated microbes of animal and plants. Use of
these natural products has gained popularity due to their added advantage over
chemical synthetic drugs that have many side effects (Strobel and Daisy, 2003).
Moreover, owing to a rise in Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Penicillin resistant Streptococcus pneumonia (PRSP) and
Vancomycin resistant Enterococcus faecium
(VRE) incidences in last two decades, a dire need for novel drugs has raised
(Menichetti, 2005). Besides, production of bioactive compounds by the plant,
are dependent on parameters like specific developmental stage, nutritional
availability, stress and environmental conditions (Chandra et al., 2012; Dudeja
and Giri, 2014). Attributed to these limitations, exploring microorganism
provides a prospect of easily renewable, inexhaustible and cost effective
source for bioactive compounds. Many natural products are being used in
pharmaceutical industry such as vinblastine, taxol, camptothecin,
podophyllotoxin, topotecan and vincristine (Cragg and Newman, 2004).

Endosymbiotic
group of microorganisms that colonize in intra and/or intercellular locations
to the plants, without causing any pathogenicity are known as endophytes
(Pimental et al., 2011). The endophytic fungus mainly belongs to three taxa
Ascomycota, Basidiomycota and Zygomycota (Carvalho et al. 2012). A number of
studies have described bioactive metabolites derived from endophytes, which
have wide range of application in pharmaceutical, agriculture, food and
cosmetics industries (Strobel and Daisy,
2003; Zhang et al., 2012; Gouda et al.,
2016).  These bioactive compounds exhibit various
attributes including antibacterial, antifungal and anti-cancerous properties.
The endophyte produced secondary metabolites such as alkaloids, flavonoids,
phenolics, tannins, steroids, quinones, chinones, benzopyranones, xanthones,
terpinoids and teralones, which are bioactive compounds with medicinal
properties (Schulz et al.,
2002; Strobel and Daisy,
2003). Furthermore, there
have been reports that sometimes endophytes produce same bioactive metabolite
as the host plant (Chandra, 2012).

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Another
rich source of bioactive secondary metabolites is marine microbes. These
metabolites range from antibiotics, novel anti-inflammatory agents and
anticancer agents (Boopathy and Kathirsean, 2010). Compounds range from various
metabolites such as terpenoids, polyethers, macrolides, alkaloids, nucleosides
and peptides (Dhinakaran et al. 2012).  

This
review aims to provide an insight to the various secondary metabolites derived
from microorganisms that can be a source to novel bioactive compounds for
pharmaceutical use. 

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