The actinomycins are a family of chromopeptide antibiotics isolated from various Streptomyces strains. First isolated in 19401, they were found in 1952 to possess antitumour activity2 and were introduced clinically3. They have been used mainly in the treatment of Wilm’s tumour4, choriocarcinoma5 and embryonal testicular carcinoma6; the clinical applications have been reviewed7,8. All contain the same phenoxazinone chromophore (red, max. 445 nm) attached amide-wise to two variable pentapeptide lactone units9. The best known example is actinomycin D (AMD, Figure 17.1)10 and analogues will be abbreviated by reference to this structure. The natural variants and artificial analogues and their comparative biological activities have been reviewed11,12, covering the literature up to 1979. In what follows, references cited in those reviews are not repeated.


Streptomyces Strain Anti Tumour Pipe Colic Acid ANTITUMOUR Agent Partial Synthesis 
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© Blackie & Son Ltd 1990

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  • A. B. Mauger

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