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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 4, Issue 3, Pages 299-311
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nem009
Review

Goniothalamus Species: A Source of Drugs for the Treatment of Cancers and Bacterial Infections?

School of Pharmacy, The University of Nottingham (Malaysia Campus), Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor, Malaysia

Received 15 March 2005; Accepted 16 January 2007

Copyright © 2007 Christophe Wiart. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Irrespective of the presence of cytotoxic acetogenins and styryl-lactones in the genus Goniothalamus, only 22 species in the genus Goniothalamus, out of 160 species (13.7%) have so far been investigated. In an effort to promote further research on the genus Goniothalamus which could represent a source of drugs for the treatment of cancers and bacterial infections, this work offers a broad analysis of current knowledge on Goniothalamus species. Therefore, it includes (i) taxonomy (ii) botanical description (iii) traditional medicinal uses and (iv) phytochemical and pharmacological studies. We discuss the molecular mechanisms of actions of acetogenins and styryl-lactones, with some emphasis on the possible involvement of protein kinase, Bax and TRAIL receptors in the cytotoxic effects of styryl-lactones. We also report (v) the growth inhibition of several nosocomial bacteria by Goniothalamus. scortechinii. The crude methanol extract of G. scortechinii showed a good and broad spectrum of antibacterial activity against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria.