Anticancer compounds derived from fungal endophytes: their importance and future challenges

Ravindra N. Kharwar, Ashish Mishra, Surendra K. Gond, Andrea Stierle, Donald Stierle
2011 Natural product reports (Print)  
This is a review of anticancer agents isolated from endophytic fungi from 1990-2010. Endophytic fungi are defined as fungi that live asymptomatically within the tissues of higher plants. The designation 'anticancer' is based on the assessment of the authors of the paper of the cytotoxicity of each compound against specific cancer cell lines. Many of the compounds reported here were isolated exclusively from endophytes in culture, while other compounds had been previously reported as chemical
more » ... stituents of higher plants. The uniqueness of the endophytic community of fungi is stressed as a promising source of novel compounds with anticancer activity, or as an alternative source of compounds originally isolated from higher plants. Endophytes represent a dependable source of specific secondary metabolites, and can be manipulated both physicochemically and genetically to increase yields of desired metabolites and to produce novel analogues of active metabolites. REVIEW their deleterious side effects and high cost of most (if not all) of these drugs, make disease treatment especially difficult. Furthermore, many existing therapies do not effectively treat certain cancers, and multi-drug-resistant tumors exacerbate treatment challenges. The discovery of new chemotherapeutic agents is a key goal for natural product and medicinal chemists. Secondary metabolites (natural products) have played an important role in the discovery and development of medicinal agents. In their analysis of data reported in Annual Reports of Medicinal Chemistry, Newman et al. found that from 1989-1995, over 60% of the approved drugs and drug candidates developed as anti-infective agents or anticancer drugs were of natural origin. 2 These excluded biologics (peptides or proteins >45 residues isolated from organisms or cell lines, or produced in a surrogate host) Ravindra Kharwar Ravindra Kharwar carried out his B.
doi:10.1039/c1np00008j pmid:21455524 fatcat:7cejoppntzf2bnbddonmwldy3i