Lessons from natural molecules

Nature. 2004 Dec 16;432(7019):829-37. doi: 10.1038/nature03194.


Natural products have inspired chemists and physicians for millennia. Their rich structural diversity and complexity has prompted synthetic chemists to produce them in the laboratory, often with therapeutic applications in mind, and many drugs used today are natural products or natural-product derivatives. Recent years have seen considerable advances in our understanding of natural-product biosynthesis. Coupled with improvements in approaches for natural-product isolation, characterization and synthesis, these could be opening the door to a new era in the investigation of natural products in academia and industry.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Factors / chemistry*
  • Biological Factors / isolation & purification
  • Biological Factors / metabolism*
  • Biological Factors / pharmacology
  • Drug Industry
  • Humans
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / chemical synthesis
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / chemistry
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Biological Factors
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations