Debipreeta Bhowmik and Gopinatha Suresh Kumar Pages 104 - 109 ( 6 )
Berberine is one of the most widely known alkaloids belonging to the protoberberine group exhibiting myriad therapeutic properties. The anticancer potency of berberine appears to derive from its multiple actions including strong interaction with nucleic acids exhibiting adenine-thymine base pair specificity, inhibition of the enzymes topoisomerases and telomerases, and stabilizing the quadruplex structures. It was realized that the development of berberine as a potential anticancer agent necessitates enhancing its nucleic acid binding efficacy through appropriate structural modifications. More recently a number of such approaches have been attempted in various laboratories with great success. Several derivatives have been synthesized mostly with substitutions at the 8, 9 and 13 positions of the isoquinoline chromophore, and studied for enhanced nucleic acid binding activity. In this article, we present an up to date review of the details of the interaction of berberine and several of its important synthetic 8, 9 and 13 substituted derivatives with various nucleic acid structures reported recently. These studies provide interesting knowledge on the mode, mechanism, sequence and structural specificity of the binding of berberine derivatives and correlate structural and energetic aspects of the interaction providing better understanding of the structure- activity relations for designing and development of berberine based therapeutic agents with higher efficacy and therapeutic potential.
Berberine analogs, binding, nucleic acids, specificity, therapeutic potential.
Biophysical Chemistry Laboratory, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, 4, Raja S.C. Mullick Road, Kolkata 700 032, India.