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Molecules 2015, 20(2), 2973-3000;

Indole Alkaloids from Catharanthus roseus: Bioproduction and Their Effect on Human Health

Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Murcia, Murcia 30100, Spain
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Patricia Valentao and Mariana Sottomayor
Received: 30 October 2014 / Revised: 20 January 2015 / Accepted: 4 February 2015 / Published: 12 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alkaloids: Novel Therapeutic Perspectives)
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Catharanthus roseus is a medicinal plant belonging to the family Apocynaceae which produces terpenoid indole alkaloids (TIAs) of high medicinal importance. Indeed, a number of activities like antidiabetic, bactericide and antihypertensive are linked to C. roseus. Nevertheless, the high added value of this plant is based on its enormous pharmaceutical interest, producing more than 130 TIAs, some of which exhibit strong pharmacological activities. The most striking biological activity investigated has been the antitumour effect of dimeric alkaloids such as anhydrovinblastine, vinblastine and vincristine which are already in pre-, clinical or in use. The great pharmacological importance of these indole alkaloids, contrasts with the small amounts of them found in this plant, making their extraction a very expensive process. To overcome this problem, researches have looked for alternative sources and strategies to produce them in higher amounts. In this sense, intensive research on the biosynthesis of TIAs and the regulation of their pathways has been developed with the aim to increase by biotechnological approaches, the production of these high added value compounds. This review is focused on the different strategies which improve TIA production, and in the analysis of the beneficial effects that these compounds exert on human health. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioactivity; bioproduction; Catharanthus roseus; indole alkaloids bioactivity; bioproduction; Catharanthus roseus; indole alkaloids

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Almagro, L.; Fernández-Pérez, F.; Pedreño, M.A. Indole Alkaloids from Catharanthus roseus: Bioproduction and Their Effect on Human Health. Molecules 2015, 20, 2973-3000.

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