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Annonaceae: bio-resource for tomorrow's drug discovery

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One of the rich sources of lead compounds is the Angiosperms. Many of these lead compounds are useful medicines naturally, whereas others have been used as the basis for synthetic agents. These are potent and effective compounds, which have been obtained from plants, including anti-cancer (cytotoxic) agents, anti-malaria (anti-protozoal) agents, and anti-bacterial agents. Today, the number of plant families that have been extensively studied is relatively very few and the vast majorities have not been studied at all. The Annonaceae is the largest family in the order Magnoliales. It includes tropical trees, bushes, and climbers, which are often used as traditional remedies in Southeast Asia. Members of the Annonaceae have the particularity to elaborate a broad spectrum of natural products that have displayed anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-protozoal effects and have been used for the treatment of medical conditions, such as skin diseases, intestinal worms, inflammation of the eyes, HIV, and cancer. These special effects and the vast range of variation in potent compounds make the Annonaceae unique from other similar families in the Magnoliales and the Angiosperms in general. This paper attempts to summarize some important information and discusses a series of hypotheses about the effects of Annonaceae compounds.
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Keywords: Annonaceae; acetogenins; alkaloids; flavonoids; lead compounds

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Science, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, Malaysia 2: School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, Malaysia

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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