Antineoplastic Agents. 291. Isolation and Synthesis of Combretastatins A-4, A-5, and A-6

George Pettit, Sheo Bux Singh, Michael R. Boyd, Ernest Hamel, Robin Pettit, Jean M. Schmidt, Fiona Hogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

415 Scopus citations


The antineoplastic constituents of Combretum caffrum (Eckl. and Zeyh) Kuntze (Combretaceae family), a species indigenous to South Africa, have been investigated. Subsequently we isolated a series of closely related bibenzyls, stilbenes, and phenanthrenes from C. caffrum. Some of the stilbenes proved to be potent antimitotic agents which inhibited both tubulin polymerization and the binding of colchicine to tubulin. Combretastatin A-4 has been shown to be the most potent cancer cell growth inhibitor of the series. Presently this cis-stilbene is the most effective inhibitor of colchicine binding to tubulin and the simplest natural product yet described with such potent antitubulin effects. Combretastatin A-4, A-5, and A-6 were also found to inhibit growth of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Details of the isolation and syntheses of combretastatins A-4 (2a), A-5 (2c), and A-6 (3a) have been described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1666-1672
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery


Dive into the research topics of 'Antineoplastic Agents. 291. Isolation and Synthesis of Combretastatins A-4, A-5, and A-6'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this