Staurosporine is a natural product originally isolated from the bacterium Streptomyces staurosporeus from a soil sample obtained in Japan (Iwate Prefecture) in 1977 during a search for new alkaloids present in actinomycetes and given the name AM-2282. The term alkaloid refers to a naturally occurring amine produced either by a plant, animal, or fungus. Actinomycetes are a group of Gram-positive bacteria that had previously been shown to produce the alkaloids pyrindicin, NA-337A, and TM-64.
The initial studies on AM-2282 focused on the taxonomy of the producing strain, fermentation, isolation, and physicochemical and biological properties of this new alkaloid. Besides being identified as a new species, they also discovered that AM-2282 had antimicrobial activity. The term antimicrobial is given to any type of chemical compound that can suppress the growth of, or aid in the death of, microorganisms, such as bacteria, yeast, and mycoplasma. AM-2282 had...