Kinetin--a Multiactive Molecule

Int J Biol Macromol. 2007 Feb 20;40(3):182-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2006.06.024. Epub 2006 Jul 8.


Cytokinins are important adenine derivatives that serve as hormones to control many processes in plants. They were discovered as factors that promote cell division in tobacco tissue cultures and have been shown also to regulate several other developmental events. Kinetin which was isolated 50 years ago for the first time as a plant hormone, as well as other cytokinins isopentenyladenine, zeatin and benzylaminopurine induce callus (clusters of dedifferentiated plant cells) to redifferentiate into adventitious buds. Because of some similarities in the biological phenotypes of cancer and callus cells, cytokinins and especially kinetin, affect the differentiation of human cells through a common signal transduction system. Therefore, cytokinins found their way to use in molecular medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation* / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Kinetin / metabolism*
  • Kinetin / pharmacology
  • Plant Growth Regulators / metabolism*
  • Plant Growth Regulators / pharmacology
  • Signal Transduction* / drug effects
  • Tobacco / metabolism*
  • Zeatin / metabolism
  • Zeatin / pharmacology


  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Zeatin
  • Kinetin