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Issue 3, 2015
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Synthetic chemistry fuels interdisciplinary approaches to the production of artemisinin

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Abstract

Covering: up to 2014

In the developing world, multi-drug resistant malaria caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum is an epidemic that claims the lives of 1–3 million people per year. Artemisinin, a naturally occurring small molecule that has seen little resistance from malarial parasites, is a valuable weapon in the fight against this disease. Several easily accessible artemisinin derivatives, including artesunate and artemether, display potent antimalarial activity against drug-resistant malaria strains; however, the global supply of artemisinin from natural sources alone remains highly inconsistent and unreliable. As a result, several approaches to artemisinin production have been developed, spanning areas such as total synthesis, flow chemistry, synthetic biology, and semi-synthesis. This review highlights achievements in all areas, in addition to the interplay between synthetic biology and synthetic chemistry that has fueled the recent industrial-scale production of artemisinin.

Graphical abstract: Synthetic chemistry fuels interdisciplinary approaches to the production of artemisinin

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Submitted
23 Aug 2014
First published
24 Oct 2014

Nat. Prod. Rep., 2015,32, 359-366
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Synthetic chemistry fuels interdisciplinary approaches to the production of artemisinin

M. A. Corsello and N. K. Garg, Nat. Prod. Rep., 2015, 32, 359
DOI: 10.1039/C4NP00113C

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