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OMICS. 2011 Dec;15(12):873-82. doi: 10.1089/omi.2011.0096.

Stress-mediated adaptive response leading to genetic diversity and instability in metabolite contents of high medicinal value: an overview on Podophyllum hexandrum.

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  • 1Radioprotective Drug Development Group, Division of Radiation Biosciences, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Brig.S.K Mazumdar Marg, Delhi, India. drmanjugupta2003@yahoo.com


Podophyllum hexandrum, known for its diversified clinical importance particularly for antineoplastic activity and valuable source for biological protection against high doses of radiation, has its unique position in the plant kingdom. Detailed understanding of mechanism and opportunity of chemical manipulations has amplified the scope of its bioactivity. Podophyllotoxin, the major active principle of this plant, has passed through various structural deviations with the basic aim of making the end product clinically more effective with minimal toxicity. However, over exploitation and limited growth has categorized this plant under endangered species. Depending upon the geographical variations, different species and subspecies of this plant have been explored. Morphological variations and quantitative differences in active principles are the major concern of its unstable medicinal value in whole and semifractionated preparations. The current review has addressed the issues related to the genetic diversity of P. hexandrum, extrinsic and intrinsic stresses responsible for its diversified nature, chemical modifications to enhance its multitasking bioactivity, and efforts for its cultivation and production of important metabolites to avoid collection of wild species due to its critically endangered nature.

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