C. A. M. da Rocha
The marine diversity has been the source of unique chemical compounds with the potential for industrial development as cosmetics, nutritional supplements, molecular probes, fine chemicals and agrochemicals, besides the production of pharmaceuticals. Their secondary metabolites derive from two main biosynthetic pathways (the route of pyruvic and acetic acids and shikimic acid pathway) and belong to large groups such as alkaloids, phenolic compounds and terpenoids. Zoanthidea consists mostly of sessile colonial anthozoans with individuals united by the basal portion. They have no skeleton, but the body wall is usually encrusted with sediment. Zoanthids produce two main types of alkaloids: a unique class of heteroaromatic amines known collectively as zoanthoxanthins responsible for their bright pigmentation, and the zoanthamine type with an original skeleton identified mainly from the genus Zoanthus. Recently, was reported the isolation and structural characterization of a new class of alkaloids named parazoanthines. These alkaloids were isolated as the major constituents of the Mediterranean Sea anemone Parazoanthus axinellae.
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