Date: 26 Jan 2005

Methanophenazine and Other Natural Biologically Active Phenazines

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Methanophenazine is a naturally occurring phenazine of nonbacterial origin, which has recently been isolated from the cytoplasmic membrane of Methanosarcina mazei Gö1 archaea. It is not only the first and so far the sole phenazine derivative from archaea, but also the first one that is acting as an electron carrier in a respiratory chain – a biologic function equivalent to that of ubiquinones in mitochondria and bacteria. The synthesis of racemic as well as enantiomerically pure methanophenazine is presented and experiments toward the characterization of its biologic function are discussed. The second focus will be on recently discovered phenazines of bacterial origin, many of them exhibiting biologic activities. This review deals with the general methods of phenazine synthesis and its most recent applications in natural product chemistry.