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Computer Techniques for Drug Development from Thai Traditional Medicine

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 15 ]


Chak Sangma, Daungmanee Chuakheaw, Nipa Jongkon and Savitri Gadavanij   Pages 1753 - 1784 ( 32 )


Thailand has a vast number of plant species. Up to 3000 of them are believed by traditional Thai medicine to possess some biological activity with which researchers have attempted for many years to identify and formulate new drugs. Many chemical compounds from Thai plant species are identified and tested for biological activity that may enable them to be declared lead compounds in drug discovery. Modern methods of drug discovery are rarely used to rationalize and speed-up the process. Within this decade, the first structural database of Thai medicinal plants, Chemiebase, has been built as a platform for virtual screening, using knowledge from Thai traditional medicine. Although this effort is a promising protocol which can be used to validate Thai traditional medicine, there exists another problem that should be resolved before proceeding: It is almost impossible to trace the knowledge to its primary source. Thai traditional knowledge has been passed on orally or - less frequently - in ancient texts. We have built another database, the Thai Herbal Repository Access Initiative (THRAI) database, in order to compile the traditional knowledge into electronic format suitable for the drug design process. Three examples using data from these databases and other computer-aided drug discovery methods to rationalize Thai traditional medicine are presented here, starting with virtual screening exercised on anti-HIV-1 reverse transcriptase, anti-HIV-1 protease, anti-influenza A neuraminidase, and anti-cyclooxygenase (COX), candidates. The second example consists of the use of molecular modeling to propose drug mechanism for anti-tumor compounds. The last one is the study on toxicity assessment of some compounds from Thai medicinal plants.


Thai traditional medicine,Thai medicinal plants,Thai herbs,Thai traditional knowledge,virtual screening,computer-aided drug discovery,THRAI,chemiebase,ADMET


, , , Cheminformatics Research Unit, Department of Chemistry, Kasetsart University, Chatuchak, Bangkok, Thailand 10900.

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