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1. Advances in structure elucidation of mistletoe constituents.

It is now well accepted that lectins and viscotoxins are the main biologically active components in mistletoe and some of its therapeutic preparations. Other compounds such as polysaccharides, phenylpropanoids, triterpenoids and flavonoids are present and may contribute to some of the pharmacological properties of mistletoe extracts. Recent progress in the field of isolation and structure elucidation of antioxidative, antiinflammatory and antinociceptive flavonoids will be presented and some analytical aspects, such as triterpenoid analysis and lectin assays and screening tools, will be highlighted as well.

Recently, structure biology studies and X-ray crystallography of the various isoforms of mistletoe lectins, which belong to the type II ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPII), have led to new insights into substrate preferences and substrate binding. For example, the complete primary structure of the A chain of mistletoe lectin III has been elucidated and the structures of mistletoe lectin I complexed with lactose and galactose have been determined. This knowledge will give further information about the mechanisms of lectin-standardized mistletoe therapy. Recent advances in the particular field of structure elucidation of lectins will be reviewed in some detail.

Keywords: Viscum album; X-ray; Crystal structure; Lectins; Flavonoids; Structure biology; Galactose; Lactose; Structure elucidation

Wolfgang Kreis*

Lehrstuhl fur Pharmazeutische Biologie, Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg, Staudtstr. 5, 91058 Erlangen, Germany

*Tel: +49 9131 8528241; fax: +49 9131 8528243.

E-mail address: wkreis@biologie.uni-erlangen.de.
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Author:Kreis, Wolfgang
Publication:Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy & Phytopharmacology
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Oct 1, 2007
Words:221
Previous Article:Editorial.
Next Article:2. Effects of mistletoe extracts on immunocompetent cells in vitro and in vivo.
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