Thursday, 25 July 2013

Deoxypodophyllotoxin: A promising therapeutic agent from herbal medicine.

Deoxypodophyllotoxin: A promising therapeutic agent from herbal medicine.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Jun 20;
Authors: Meyada K, Zhen-Zhou J, Lu-Yong Z
BACKGROUND: Recently, biologically active compounds isolated from plants used in herbal medicine have been the center of interest. Deoxypodophyllotoxin (DPT), structurally closely related to the lignan podophyllotoxin, is a potent antitumor and anti-inflammatory agent. However, DPT has not been used clinically yet. Also, DPT from natural sources seems to be unavailable. Hence, it is important to establish alternative resources for the production of such lignan; especially that it is used as a precursor for the semi-synthesis of the cytostatic drugs etoposide phosphate and teniposide
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: The update paper provides an overview of DPT as an effective anticancer natural compound and a leader for cytotoxic drugs synthesis and development in order to highlight the gaps in our knowledge and explore future research needs.
APPROACH AND METHODS: The present review covers the literature available from 1877 to 2012. The information was collected via electronic search using Chinese papers and the major scientific databases including PubMed, Sciencedirect, Web of Science and Google Scholar using the keywords. All abstracts and full-text articles reporting database on the history and current status of DPT were gathered and analyzed.
RESULTS: Plants containing DPT have played an important role in traditional medicine. In light of the in vitro pharmacological investigations, DPT is a high valuable medicinal agent that has anti-tumor, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties. Further, DPT is an important precursor for the cytotoxic aryltetralin lignan, podophyllotoxin, which is used to obtain semisynthetic derivatives like etoposide and teniposide used in cancer therapy. However, most studies have focused on the in vitro data. Therefore, DPT has not been used clinically yet.
CONCLUSIONS: DPT has emerged as a potent chemical agent from herbal medicine. Therefore, in vivo studies are needed to carry out clinical trials in humans and enable the development of new anti-cancer agents. In addition, DPT from commercial sources seems to be unavailable due to its rarity from natural sources and cumbersome extraction procedures. Hence, it is important to establish alternative, cost-effective and renewable resources, such plant cell cultures and (semi-) synthesis strategies for the production of DPT.