5.3.2. Salvicine

Salvicine is a semi-synthetic diterpenoid quinone compound obtained by structural modification of a natural lead isolated from the Chinese medicinal herb Salvia prionitis. This compound is a non-intercalative topoisomerase II poison with a potent, broad spectrum in vitro and in vivo antitumor activity, and is currently in Phase II clinical trials. Salvicine is also an inhibitor of several resistance mechanisms (see Chapter 12), including multi-drug resistance (MDR) by down-regulating the expression of MDR-1 mRNA via the activation of c-jun, and DNA repair by the DNA protein kinase (DNA-PK) enzyme.

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