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Current Progress in the Chemistry and Pharmacology of Akuammiline Alkaloids

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Akuammiline alkaloids are a family of monoterpene indole alkaloids of renewed medicinal interest. These bases act as ligands for a heterogeneous group of molecular targets and, consequently, display a wide variety of pharmacological activities. For example, pseudoakuammigine (2) exhibits opioid activity in vivo, echitamine (4) has been reported to have promising cytotoxic activity, and corymine (121) behaves as an antagonist of the glycine receptor. Oddly enough, these alkaloids have not raised enough interest in the organic synthesis community, remaining inaccessible; even the entry to their pentacyclic framework continues elusive. Recently, several akuammiline bases have been isolated and identified including bisindole alkaloids, such as vingramine (103) or rausutrine (110), which incorporate akuammiline-type subunits. This review covers the advances in the chemistry and pharmacology of akuammiline alkaloids reported within the last ten years.

Keywords: akuammiline; bisindole; echitamine; indole; isolation; monoterpene alkaloids; pharmacology; strictamine

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Baker Laboratory, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853-1301, USA.

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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