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Issue 9, 2016
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Nauclea latifolia: biological activity and alkaloid phytochemistry of a West African tree

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Abstract

Covering up to 2016

Nauclea latifolia (syn. Sarcocephalus latifolius, Rubiaceae), commonly called the African pincushion tree, is a plant widely used in folk medicine in different regions of Africa for treating a variety of illnesses, including malaria, epilepsy and pain. N. latifolia has not only drawn the interest of traditional healers but also of phytochemists, who have identified a range of bioactive indole alkaloids in its tissue. More recently, following up on the traditional use of extracts in pain management, a bio-guided purification from the roots of the tree led to the identification of the active ingredient as tramadol, available as a synthetic analgesic since the 1970s. The discovery of this compound as a natural phytochemical was highlighted worldwide. This review focuses on the correlation between extracted compounds and pharmacological activities, paying special attention to infectious diseases and neurologically-related disorders. A critical analysis of the data reported so far on the natural origin of tramadol and its proposed biosynthesis is also presented.

Graphical abstract: Nauclea latifolia: biological activity and alkaloid phytochemistry of a West African tree

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Mar 2016 and first published on 27 Jun 2016


Article type: Highlight
DOI: 10.1039/C6NP00039H
Nat. Prod. Rep., 2016,33, 1034-1043

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    Nauclea latifolia: biological activity and alkaloid phytochemistry of a West African tree

    B. Boucherle, R. Haudecoeur, E. F. Queiroz, M. De Waard, J. Wolfender, R. J. Robins and A. Boumendjel, Nat. Prod. Rep., 2016, 33, 1034
    DOI: 10.1039/C6NP00039H

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