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Abstract

CATHARANTHUS ROSEUS (VINCA ALKALOID): A MEDICINAL HERB

*Ashwini G. Shinde and Seema B. Varpe

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Abstract

Vinca alkaloid (derived from Catharanthus roseus) are a subset of drugs (anti-mitotic and anti-microtubule alkaloid) obtained from the Madagascar periwinkle plant. They are naturally extracted from the pink periwinkle plant, Catharanthus roseus G. Don and have hypoglycemic as well as cytotoxic effects. They block beta-tubulin polymerization in a dividing cell. The plant is native of Madagascar and is found in many tropical and subtropical countries especially in India, Australia, South Africa and North and South America. The plant is cultivated as garden plant in Europe and India. The vinca alkaloids are also important for being cancer fighters. The Madagascar periwinkle has a reputation in folk remedy in the treatment of diabetes. vinka alkaloid are used as immunosuppressive drugs. Vinca Alkaloid are chemically indole alkaloids and are known to possess anti-cancer, anti-hypertensive and anti- diabetic roles. The principle members of group are vincristine(VCR), vinblastine(VBL), vindesine(VDS), vinorelbine(VRL). Vinflunine is also a new synthetic vinca alkaloid, which has been approved in Europe for the treatment of second-line transitional cell carcinoma of the urothelium is being developed for other malignancies.

Keywords: vinka alkaloid, madagascar periwinkle, anti-mitotic, anti-microtubule, beta tubulin, immunosuppressive, vincristine, vinblastine, vindesine, vinorelbine.


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