Creating and screening natural product libraries
Covering: up to 2020
The National Cancer Institute of the United States (NCI) has initiated a Cancer Moonshot program entitled the NCI Program for Natural Product Discovery. As part of this effort, the NCI is producing a library of 1 000 000 partially purified natural product fractions which are being plated into 384-well plates and provided to the research community free of charge. As the first 326 000 of these fractions have now been made available, this review seeks to describe the general methods used to collect organisms, extract those organisms, and create a prefractionated library. Importantly, this review also details both cell-based and cell-free bioassay methods and the adaptations necessary to those methods to productively screen natural product libraries. Finally, this review briefly describes post-screen dereplication and compound purification and scale up procedures which can efficiently identify active compounds and produce sufficient quantities of natural products for further pre-clinical development.