Reviewing Colchicaceae Alkaloids – Perspectives of Evolution on Medicinal Chemistry
Sonny Larsson and Nina Ronsted
Affiliation: Botanic Garden, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Solvgade 83, Opg. S, Copenhagen DK-1307, Denmark
The subject of chemosystematics has provided insight to both botanical classification and drug development.
However, degrees of subjectivity in botanical classifications and limited understanding of the evolution of chemical characters
and their biosynthetic pathways has often hampered such studies. In this review an approach of taking phylogenetic
classification into account in evaluating colchicine and related phenethylisoquinoline alkaloids from the family Colchicaceae
will be applied. Following on the trends of utilizing evolutionary reasoning in inferring mechanisms in eg. drug resistance
in cancer and infections, this will exemplify how thinking about evolution can influence selection of plant material
in drug lead discovery, and how knowledge about phylogenetic relationships may be used to evaluate predicted biosynthetic
Keywords: Alkaloids, biosynthetic pathways, colchicaceae, colchicine, evolution, phylogenetic prediction.
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