Natural products and derivatives as leads to cell cycle pathway targets in cancer chemotherapy

Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2002 Dec;2(4):279-308. doi: 10.2174/1568009023333791.


The influence of natural products upon drug discovery in general has been quite impressive; one only has to look at the number of clinically active drugs that are in use in cancer therapy to see how many either are natural products or have a natural pro-duct pharmacophore. What is now becoming quite apparent is that materials from natural sources are excellent probes (indicators) for cellular targets that when modulated, may well have a deleterious effect upon the cycling of a tumor cell through the conventional cell cycle. If the particular target is not expressed in normal cell cycling, then a directed "perturbation" of the tumor cell's cycle may well lead to a novel method of treatment for specific tumor types. In this review we have not attempted to be exhaustive but have given a current overview of how natural products from marine, microbial and plant sources have permitted in-depth analyses of various parts of the cell cycle under varying conditions with the ultimate aims of attempting to "control or perturb" the cycling of tumor cells in a fashion that permits their ultimate removal via cellular death, with a minimum of trauma to the host.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Products / administration & dosage*
  • Biological Products / chemistry
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects*
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Biological Products