Podophyllotoxin, a lignan extracted from rhizomes of Podophyllum species, is a well established lead
in the development of new chemical agents for the treatment of cancer. Its semi-synthetic variant, etoposide is an
anticancer drug which inhibits DNA topoisomerase II causing cell cycle arrest in the S the phase. Its clinical
success and intriguing mode of action made it a much sought after skeleton for the development of better antitumor
agents. Modifications were made at several positions of its skeleton with the aim to either improve its potency or
to overcome drug resistance. In recent years, the structurally modified podophyllotoxins have been investigated for
their apoptosis inducing ability. Although numerous reviews emphasized the occurrence, synthesis and applications
of podophyllotoxins, the recent progress towards development of structurally modified podophyllotoxins
possessing apoptosis inducing ability has not been previously reviewed. Therefore the present review focuses on
the studies carried out in the design and synthesis of new podophyllotoxin derivatives and their evaluation as apoptosis inducers.
Keywords: Anticancer, apoptosis, microtubules, podophyllotoxin, topoisomerase.
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport