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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Usnic acid derivatives as potential antineoplastic agents.

Usnic acid, a lichen antibiotic, showed low-level activity in the Lewis lung carcinoma test system. In an effort to produce new agents of potential use in the treatment of lung cancer, derivatives of the natural product were synthesized and evaluated with a cytotoxicity assay. Structure--activity analysis of the cytotoxicity data indicated the importance of the lipophilicity and the beta-triketone moiety of usnic acid on cytotoxicity. No significant increases in survival of test animals over controls were shown by any of the synthetic compounds in the P388 leukemia or the Lewis lung carcinoma test systems.[1]


  1. Usnic acid derivatives as potential antineoplastic agents. Takai, M., Uehara, Y., Beisler, J.A. J. Med. Chem. (1979) [Pubmed]
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