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

(+)-Myristinins A and D from Knema elegans, which inhibit DNA polymerase beta and cleave DNA.

A survey of crude plant extracts for DNA polymerase beta inhibitors resulted in the identification of a methyl ethyl ketone extract prepared from Knema elegans that strongly inhibited the enzyme. Subsequent bioassay-guided fractionation of the extract, using an assay to monitor the activity of DNA polymerase beta, led to the isolation of two potent inhibitors, (+)-myristinins A (1) and D (2), which are known flavans having unusual structures. (+)-Myristinins A and D exhibited IC50 values of 12 and 4.3 microM, respectively, as inhibitors of DNA polymerase beta in the presence of bovine serum albumin ( BSA), and 2.7 and 1.2 microM in the absence of BSA. As such, they are the most potent DNA polymerase beta inhibitors reported to date. Compounds 1 and 2 potentiated the cytotoxicity of bleomycin toward cultured P388D1 cells, reducing the number of viable cells by at least 30% when employed at 9 microM concentration for 6 h in the presence of an otherwise nontoxic concentration of bleomycin (75 nM). Principles 1 and 2 also induced strong Cu2+-dependent DNA strand scission in a DNA cleavage assay. Accordingly, 1 and 2 exhibit two activities, namely, DNA polymerase beta inhibition and DNA damage.[1]


  1. (+)-Myristinins A and D from Knema elegans, which inhibit DNA polymerase beta and cleave DNA. Deng, J.Z., Starck, S.R., Li, S., Hecht, S.M. J. Nat. Prod. (2005) [Pubmed]
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