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Coumarins as Potential Inhibitors of DNA Polymerases and Reverse Transcriptases. Searching New Antiretroviral and Antitumoral Drugs

[ Vol. 12 , Issue. 2 ]


Hugo A. Garro and Carlos R. Pungitore   Pages 66 - 79 ( 14 )


Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the viral agent of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and at present, there is no effective vaccine against HIV. Reverse Transcriptase (RT) is an essential enzyme for retroviral replication, such as HIV as well as for other RNA infectious viruses like Human T lymphocyte virus. Polymerases act in DNA metabolism, modulating different processes like mitosis, damage repair, transcription and replication. It has been widely documented that DNA Polymerases and Reverse Transcriptases serve as molecular targets for antiviral and antitumoral chemotherapy. Coumarins are oxygen heterocycles that are widely distributed throughout the plant kingdom. Natural coumarins have attraction due to their bioactive properties such as tumor promotion inhibitory effects, and anti-HIV activity. Coumarins and derivates exhibit potent inhibitory effects on HIV-1 replication in lymphocytes and compounds isolated from Calophyllum inophyllum or DCK derivates showed inhibitory activity against human RT. Furthermore, natural isocoumarins isolated from cultures of fungi or hydroxycoumarins were able to inhibit human DNA polymerase. In view of their importance as drugs and biologically active natural products, and their medicinally useful properties, extensive studies have been carried out on the synthesis of coumarin compounds in recent years. Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTIs), a class of antiretroviral chemotherapeutic agents, act by binding to an allosteric pocket showing, generally, low toxicity. This work tries to summarize the investigation about natural and synthetic coumarins with the ability to inhibit key enzymes that play a crucial role in DNA metabolism and their possible application as antiretroviral and antitumoral agents.


Cancer, coumarins, DNA polymerase, inhibitors, in silico, HIV, reverse transcriptase.


Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmacy. University of San Luis, P.O. 5700, San Luis, Argentine. `

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