Podophyllotoxin is an important and much sought after antimitotic natural lead compound, since it paved the way for three hemisynthetic derivatives of podophyllotoxin, e.g., etoposide, teniposide and etopophos, which are widely used as anticancer drugs and show good clinical effects against several types of neoplasms. Although the publication of the recent reviews by Gordaliza in 2004 and You in 2005, which covered the literatures concerning podophyllotoxin until the early part of 2003, there have been significant number of works carried out on podophyllotoxin recently. Therefore, this review presents up-to-date coverage of podophyllotoxin in regard to hemisynthesis, biosynthesis, biological activities, mode of action and structure-activity relationship.
Keywords: Podophyllotoxin, antimitotic, topoisomerase II, hemisynthesis, biosynthesis, biological activities, mode of action, structure-activity relationship
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