Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry

(Formerly Current Medicinal Chemistry - Anti-Cancer Agents)

Michelle Prudhomme  
Universite Blaise Pascal - C.N.R.S
Aubiere Cedex


α-Methylene-γ-lactones as a Novel Class of Anti-leukemic Agents

Author(s): Katarzyna Gach, Anna Janecka.


Natural products are important leads in drug discovery. In recent years, the anti-leukemic properties of natural compounds isolated from plants, containing an α-Methylene-γ-lactones skeleton, have attracted a lot of attention. Extensive research has been carried out to characterize their molecular mechanisms of action and potential chemotherapeutic application in different types of cancer, including leukemias. Sesquiterpene lactones, a group of α-Methylene-γ-lactones are plant-derived compounds, mostly of the Compositae family, used in traditional medicine especially for the treatment of inflammation. However, they exhibit a broad spectrum of other biological effects, including cytotoxic, anti-bacterial, anti-helminthic, and anti-tumor activity. Recently, a sesquiterpene lactone, parthenolide, and several other compounds containing an α-methylene-γ-lactone skeleton have become topics of interest as potential antileukemic agents. The recent research emphasizes their selective activity against leukemia cells while the normal hematopoietic cells remain unaffected. In this review, we give a brief description of natural α-Methylene-γ-lactones isolated from plants and their derivates with minor chemical modifications that possess anti-leukemic activity. We also discuss molecular mechanisms of action of these compounds, in particular, their selectivity against leukemia cells.

Keywords: Alkylating agents, α-Methylene-γ-lactones, apoptosis, leukemia treatment, leukemia stem cells, sesquiterpene lactones.

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Article Details

Year: 2014
Page: [688 - 694]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/1871520614666140313095010
Price: $58