Living reference work entry
Taxol (paclitaxel) was first isolated in 1971 from a crude extract of Taxus brevifolia, a scarce, slow-growing yew plant found in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. It is a diterpenoid containing the characteristic taxane ring (Fig. 1). Total chemical synthesis of this compound was achieved in 1994, opening the way for the production of various analogues. Currently, taxol is commercially prepared by hemisynthesis, in which a synthetic side chain is attached to natural products isolated from the needles of Taxus plants. Enzymatic conversion of various taxanes to 10-deacetylbaccatin III (a precursor for taxol hemisynthesis) has been reported.
KeywordsVinca Alkaloid Taxane Class Signal Transduction Machinery Total Chemical Synthesis Sorangium Cellulosum
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