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Curr Med Chem. 2004 May;11(10):1265-84.

Recent advances in artemisinin and its derivatives as antimalarial and antitumor agents.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749, Korea.


Artemisinin, the first and last naturally occurring 1, 2, 4-trioxane originated from Artemisia annua, L. and its derivatives are a potent class of antimalarial drugs. The clinical efficacy of these drugs is characterized by an almost immediate onset and rapid reduction of parasitemia, and it is high in such areas as well where multidrug-resistance is rampant. Furthermore, artemisinin and many of its analog possess not only antiparasitic effect against Plasmodium falciparum, Schistosoma japonicum and Clonorchis sinensi but also immuno-modulation effects, and antitumor activities. This review covers the chemistry of artemisinin including synthesis of acetal-, non acetal-type C-12 analogs, C-11- and C-13 derivatives from artemisitene, ring-contracted derivatives, dimers, and trimers. Modes of biological action of artemisinin - derived analogs are also reviewed. The main objective of this article is to review the literatures of recent progress taken place in chemistry, mode of biological actions of artemisinin, and its derivatives as antimalarial and antitumor agents during the last three years (1999-2001).

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