Review of natural product databases

Cell Prolif. 2015 Aug;48(4):398-404. doi: 10.1111/cpr.12190. Epub 2015 May 25.


Objectives: Many natural products have pharmacological or biological activities that can be of therapeutic benefit in treating diseases, and are also an important source of inspiration for development of potential novel drugs. The past few decades have witnessed extensive study of natural products for their promising prospects in application of medicinal chemistry, molecular biology and pharmaceutical sciences.

Materials and methods: Natural product databases have provided systematic collection of information concerning natural products and their derivatives, including structure, source and mechanisms of action, which significantly support modern drug discovery.

Results: Currently, a considerable number of natural product databases, such as TCM Database@Taiwan, TCMID, CEMTDD, SuperToxic and SuperNatural, have been developed, providing data such as integrated medicinal herbs, ingredients, 2D/3D structures of the compounds, related target proteins, relevant diseases, and metabolic toxicity and more.

Conclusions: We focus on an analytical overview of current natural product databases, and further discuss the good, bad or imperfection of current ones, in the hope of better integrating existing relevant outcomes, thus providing new routes for future drug discovery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Products / metabolism
  • Biological Products / pharmacology*
  • Biological Products / toxicity
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Drug Discovery* / methods
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / metabolism
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / toxicity
  • Humans


  • Biological Products
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal