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Current Organic Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1385-2728
ISSN (Online): 1875-5348

Approaches Towards the Synthesis of Cephalostatins, Ritterazines and Saponins from Ornithogalum saundersiae - New Natural Products With Cytostatic Activity

Author(s): A. Gryszkiewicz-Wojtkielewicz, I. Jastrzebska, J. W. Morzycki and D. B. Romanowska

Volume 7 , Issue 12 , 2003

Page: [1257 - 1277] Pages: 21

DOI: 10.2174/1385272033486512

Price: $65


Secondary metabolites of marine invertebrates continue to attract the attention of organic chemists, biochemists, and pharmacologists due to their novel structures and potent biological activities. One such example is cephalostatin 1 isolated from the Indian Ocean hemichordate Cephalodiscus gilchristi, which exhibited remarkable cytotoxic activity against a broad spectrum of malignant tumor cells. Similar marine alkaloids (e.g. ritterazine G) were found in the lipophilic extract of the tunicate Ritterella tokioka collected off the coast of Japan. These very potent compounds, cephalostatins and ritterazines, belong to the large family of trisdecacyclic pyrazines, consisting of two steroid units. The two steroid halves of cephalostatin 1 and other highly cytotoxic members of the family are different. The biological activity of the dimeric steroid-pyrazine marine alkaloids and their limited availability coupled with the new and intriguing structure make them an attractive challenge for the synthetic organic chemists. A few years ago a group of cholestane glycosides was isolated from the bulbs of Ornithogalum saundersiae, a species of the lily family without any medicinal folkloric background. Similar glycosides were recently isolated from Galtonia candicans. The major component of the mixture of saponins, OSW-1, exhibited sub-nanomolar antineoplastic activity. While OSW-1 is exceptionally cytotoxic against various tumor cells, it showed little toxicity to normal human pulmonary cells. The cytotoxicity profile of OSW-1 against different cancer cell lines was found to be surprisingly similar to that of the cephalostatins, which appears to imply a related mechanism of action. In this review article the synthetic efforts towards these compounds are described.

Keywords: Cephalostatins, cytotoxicity, glycosides

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