Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic prokaryotic organisms which represent a significant source of novel, bioactive, secondary metabolites, and they are also considered an abundant source of bioactive compounds/drugs, such as dolastatin, cryptophycin 1, curacin toyocamycin, phytoalexin, cyanovirin-N and phycocyanin. Some of these compounds have displayed promising results in successful Phase I, II, III and IV clinical trials. Additionally, the cyanobacterial compounds applied to medical research have demonstrated an exciting future with great potential to be developed into new medicines. Most of these compounds have exhibited strong pharmacological activities, including neurotoxicity, cytotoxicity and antiviral activity against HCMV, HSV-1, HHV-6 and HIV-1, so these metabolites could be promising candidates for COVID-19 treatment. Therefore, the effective large-scale production of natural marine products through synthesis is important for resolving the existing issues associated with chemical isolation, including small yields, and may be necessary to better investigate their biological activities. Herein, we highlight the total synthesized and stereochemical determinations of the cyanobacterial bioactive compounds. Furthermore, this review primarily focuses on the biotechnological applications of cyanobacteria, including applications as cosmetics, food supplements, and the nanobiotechnological applications of cyanobacterial bioactive compounds in potential medicinal applications for various human diseases are discussed.


© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Cite as

Khalifa, S., Shedid, E., Saied, E., Jassbi, A., Jamebozorgi, F., Rateb, M., Du, M., Abdel-Daim, M., Kai, G., Al-Hammady, M., Xiao, J., Guo, Z. & El-Seedi, H. 2021, 'Cyanobacteria-from the oceans to the potential biotechnological and biomedical applications', Marine Drugs, 19(5), article no: 241. https://doi.org/10.3390/md19050241

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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