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Natural isoquinoline alkaloids: binding aspects to functional proteins, serum albumins, hemoglobin, and lysozyme


The putative anticancer alkaloids berberine, palmatine, jatrorrhizine, and sanguinarine are known to bind to nucleic acids. To develop them as potential drugs for therapeutic use, their binding affinity to functional proteins and mode of transport in the circulatory system need to be clearly understood. Towards this, many studies on their binding aspects to proteins have been reported and a considerable amount of data, mostly of biophysical nature, exists in the literature. The importance of these natural isoquinoline alkaloids and the recent literature on their interaction phenomena with functional proteins, serum albumins, hemoglobin, and lysozyme are presented in this review.

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GSK gratefully acknowledges the generous support from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Govt. of India through network projects NWP0036 and BSC0123 for the studies on alkaloid macromolecule interactions. The authors thank Dr. Basudeb Achari, Ex. Emeritus Scientist, CSIR—Indian Institute of Chemical Biology for his valuable inputs and suggestions.

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Correspondence to Gopinatha Suresh Kumar.

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Asma Yasmeen Khan declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Gopinatha Suresh Kumar declares that he has no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the authors.

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Khan, A.Y., Suresh Kumar, G. Natural isoquinoline alkaloids: binding aspects to functional proteins, serum albumins, hemoglobin, and lysozyme. Biophys Rev 7, 407–420 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12551-015-0183-5

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  • Isoquinoline alkaloids
  • Serum albumins
  • Hemoglobin
  • Lysozyme
  • Interaction