Discovery of Anticancer Agents of Diverse Natural Origin

J Nat Prod. 2022 Mar 25;85(3):702-719. doi: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.2c00036. Epub 2022 Feb 25.


Research progress from mainly over the last five years is described for a multidisciplinary collaborative program project directed toward the discovery of potential anticancer agents from a broad range of taxonomically defined organisms. Selected lead compounds with potential as new antitumor agents that are representative of considerable structural diversity have continued to be obtained from each of tropical plants, terrestrial and aquatic cyanobacteria, and filamentous fungi. Recently, a new focus has been on the investigation of the constituents of U.S. lichens and their fungal mycobionts. A medicinal chemistry and pharmacokinetics component of the project has optimized structurally selected lead natural products, leading to enhanced cytotoxic potencies against selected cancer cell lines. Biological testing has shown several compounds to have in vivo activity, and relevant preliminary structure-activity relationship and mechanism of action studies have been performed. Several promising lead compounds worthy of further investigation have been identified from the most recent collaborative work performed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents* / chemistry
  • Biological Products* / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Plants / chemistry
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biological Products