Hier finden Sie wissenschaftliche Publikationen aus den Fraunhofer-Instituten.

Plants as sources of natural and recombinant anti-cancer agents

: Buyel, J.F.


Biotechnology Advances 36 (2018), Nr.2, S.506-520
ISSN: 0734-9750
ISSN: 1873-1899
Fraunhofer IME ()

Herbal remedies were the first medicines used by humans due to the many pharmacologically active secondary metabolites produced by plants. Some of these metabolites inhibit cell division and can therefore be used for the treatment of cancer, e.g. the mitostatic drug paclitaxel (Taxol). The ability of plants to produce medicines targeting cancer has expanded due to the advent of genetic engineering, particularly in recent years because of the development of gene editing systems such as the CRISPR/Cas9 platform. These technologies allow the introduction of genetic modifications that facilitate the accumulation of native pharmaceutically-active substances, and even the production heterologous recombinant proteins, including human antibodies, lectins and vaccine candidates. Here we discuss the anti-cancer agents that are produced by plants naturally or following genetic modification, and the potential of these products to supply modern healthcare systems. Special emphasis will be put on proteinaceous anti-cancer agents, which can exhibit an improved selectivity and reduced side effects compared to small molecule-based drugs.