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Posts tagged with "Natural Products"

  • Chemical News

    Screen Carefully

    This recent paper asks the question “Can Invalid Bioactives Undermine Natural-Product Based Drug Discovery?” And as any of you who’ve done any natural product screening can attest, the answer is “You betcha”. There are any number of natural products (here’s one!) that, although active in a given screening assay,… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    The Case For Non-Biogenic Tramadol

    The battle over whether tramadol is a natural product or not has been a heated one. Over the last couple of years, it was reported to be produced by a west African shrub, then this was reported to be an artifact of feeding the drug to cattle, and then this hypothesis was challenged by work… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    The Tramadol Wars

    You may recall the report of the synthetic analgesic tramadol as a natural product from Cameroon, and the subsequent report that it was nothing of the kind. (That’s the paper that brought the surprising news that local farmers were feeding the drug to their cows). Now the first group (a team from Nantes, Lodz, and… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Weirdly, Tramadol Is Not a Natural Product After All

    Last year I mentioned a paper that described the well-known drug tramadol as a natural product, isolated from a species of tree in Cameroon. Rather high concentrations were found in the root bark, and the evidence looked solid that the compound was indeed being made biochemically. Well, thanks to chem-blogger Quintus (and a mention on… Read More
  • Diabetes and Obesity

    Speaking of Polyphenols. . .

    Yesterday’s mention of “nightmare polyphenols” prompted a reader to ask about the one in this paper. That’s it over there at the left, and yeah, that sure is a polyphenol. In fact, it’s a chaetochromin, a family of mycotoxins originally isolated from moldy rice. The paper doesn’t say anything about its stereochem… Read More
  • Natural Products

    How Polyphenols Work, Perhaps?

    No medicinal chemist, in my experience, is enthusiastic about polyphenol compounds. At least, not after their first experiences with them. These things are all over the natural product landscape, and many of them have biological activities, but (1) they’re beastly to try to develop into drugs, and (2) no one understands very well what their… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Mix-and-Match Natural Products

    A lot of people in med-chem and chemical biology would like to have more natural-product-like features in their libraries of organic compounds. But realizing that idea is not so easy. Natural product structures, er, naturally tend to be more complex, with a lot of functionality and stereochemistry compared to the sorts of things you usually… Read More
  • Natural Products

    Hit the Polyamine Pedal, And Hold It

    As part of the no-doubt-endless series of head-shaking natural product structures out there, allow me to present the newly described Protoaculeine B, isolated from an Okinawan marine sponge. That side chain looks as if it were inspired by listening to Philip Glass, and it fits well into the category of “I never would have made… Read More
  • Natural Products

    Tramadol Turns Out to Be a Natural Product

    Every so often reports appear that some synthetic compound actually turns out to be a natural product. Sometimes these make very little sense, and turn out to be analytical mistakes (as with this report of nevirapine). But sometimes they’re right. This one looks as if it’s right, though. Nauclea latifola, known colloquially as the ̶… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    Making the Bacteria Make Your Fluorinated Compounds

    Acetate is used in vivo as a starting material for all sorts of ridiculously complex natural products. So here’s a neat idea: why not hijack those pathways with fluoroacetate and make fluorinated things that no one’s ever seen before? That’s the subject of this new paper in Science, from Michelle Chang’s lab at Berkeley. The… Read More
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