Call for Papers  

Article Details

Review Article

Inhibiting the “Undruggable” RAS/Farnesyltransferase (FTase) Cancer Target by Manumycin-related Natural Products

[ Vol. 29 , Issue. 2 ]


Leandro Rocha Silva and Edeildo Ferreira da Silva-Júnior *   Pages 189 - 211 ( 23 )


Cancer is an uncontrolled cell growth that can generate diverse types of cancer, in which these will also present a different behavior in the face of pharmacological treatment. These cancers’ types are found in one of the three categories, leukemias (also named lymphomas), carcinomas, and sarcomas. In general, cancer's pathogenesis is associated with three genetic mutations, where could emerge from oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, and/or genes responsible for regulating DNA replication. The term “undruggable” is frequently related to the difficulty to design drugs to specific targets, such as MYC, MYB, NF-κB, and RAS family of proteins. This last comprises more than 140 proteins, and these are responsible for 30% of mutations in human cancers. Also, there are three ras genes transcribed in human cells, called H-, K-, and N-ras oncogenes. Still, the RAS proteins (farnesyltransferase (FTase) and geranylgeranyltransferase (GGTase) enzymes) perform essential steps in post-translational modification of eukaryotes cells, such as (1) the farnesylation of the cysteine residue at the C-terminal tetrapeptide CAAX; (2) proteolytic cleavage of the three C-terminal AAX oligopeptide; and (3) carboxymethylation of the new C-terminal prenylated cysteine. Thus, the inhibition of this undruggable RAS family of proteins has been considered a promising alternative to design new anticancer agents since they are responsible for many types of human cancers. Then, the manumycin A (obtained from the Streptomyces parvulus Tü64) and its analogs (epoxyquinol core with or without their southern and eastern side chains; and dihydroxycyclohexenones core) have been described as promising FTase inhibitors, which have demonstrated their benefits against several types of cancer. In this review, a complete introduction about cancer and its relation with RAS proteins is provided, as well as, the prenylation mechanism of the cysteine residue is discussed in detail. Posteriorly, studies involving manumycin-related compounds are described, showing some synthetic routes for obtaining them and utilizing these natural products in monotherapies or combined therapies with other anticancer drugs.


Ras family, manumycin A, asukamycin, LL-C10037α, farnesyltransferase, geranylgeranyltransferase


Institute of Chemistry and Biotechnology, Federal University of Alagoas, Lourival Melo Mota Avenue, 57072-970, Maceió, Institute of Chemistry and Biotechnology, Federal University of Alagoas, Lourival Melo Mota Avenue, 57072-970, Maceió

Read Full-Text article