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Trends Biotechnol. 1998 Oct;16(10):427-33.

Signal-transduction cascades as targets for therapeutic intervention by natural products.

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Department of Genetics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Many bacteria and fungi produce natural products that are toxic to other microorganisms and have a variety of physiological effects in animals. Recent studies have revealed that, in several cases, the targets of these agents are components of conserved signal-transduction cascades. This article looks at the mechanisms of action of five natural products--the immunosuppressants cyclosporin A, FK506 and rapamycin, and the antiproliferative agents wortmannin and geldanamycin. These mechanisms reveal the importance of signal-transduction cascades as targets for therapeutic intervention and the enormous utility of studies of natural-product action in simple model genetic systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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