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Colchicine Semisynthetics: Chemotherapeutics for Cancer?

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Nitrogen-containing bioactive alkaloids of plant origin play a significant role in human health and medicine. Several semisynthetic antimitotic alkaloids are successful in anticancer drug development. Gloriosa superba biosynthesizes substantial quantities of colchicine, a bioactive molecule for gout treatment. Colchicine also has antimitotic activity, preventing growth of cancer cells by interacting with microtubules, which could lead to the design of better cancer therapeutics. Further, several colchicine semisynthetics are less toxic than colchicine. Research is being conducted on effective, less toxic colchicine semisynthetic formulations with potential drug delivery strategies directly targeting multiple solid cancers. This article reviews the dynamic state of anticancer drug development from colchicine semisynthetics and natural colchicine production and briefly discusses colchicine biosynthesis.
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Keywords: Bioreactor; Chemotherapeutics; Colchicine Semisynthetics; Gloriosa superba; antimitotic alkaloids; bioactive alkaloids; cancer; colchicine; plant origin; thiocolchicine dimers

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-03-01

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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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