Leeper Group



Neil R. Williamson, Peter C. Fineran, T. Gristwood, Suresh R. Chawrai, Finian J. Leeper and George P. C. Salmond, "Anticancer and Immunosuppressive Properties of Bacterial Prodiginines." Future Microbiology, 2007, 2 (6), 605-618. Full Text.

Bacterial prodiginines are a family of red-pigmented, tripyrrolic compounds, which show numerous biological activities including antibacterial, antifungal, antiprotozoal, antimalarial, immunosuppressive and anticancer properties. Recently, significant progress has been made on understanding the biosynthesis and regulation of bacterial prodiginines. An understanding of the biosynthesis of prodiginines will allow engineering of bacterial strains capable of synthesising novel prodiginines through rational design and mutasynthesis experiments. Bacterial prodiginines and synthetic derivatives are effective proapoptotoic agents with multiple cellular targets, active against numerous cancer cell lines including multidrug resistant cells with little or no toxicity towards normal cell lines. A synthetic derivative, GX15-070 (Obatoclax), developed through structure activity relationship (SAR) studies of pyrrole ring A of butyl-meta-cycloheptylprodiginine, is in multiple phase I and phase II clinical trials in both single and dual agent studies to treat different types of cancer. Therefore prodiginines have real therapeutic potential in the clinic.

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Department of Chemistry
University of Cambridge