Anticancer compounds derived from fungal endophytes: Their importance and future challenges

Ravindra N. Kharwar, Ashish Mishra, Surendra K. Gond, Andrea Stierle, Donald Stierle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

439 Scopus citations


This is a review of anticancer agents isolated from endophytic fungi from 1990-2010. Endophytic fungi are defined as fungi that live asymptomatically within the tissues of higher plants. The designation 'anticancer' is based on the assessment of the authors of the paper of the cytotoxicity of each compound against specific cancer cell lines. Many of the compounds reported here were isolated exclusively from endophytes in culture, while other compounds had been previously reported as chemical constituents of higher plants. The uniqueness of the endophytic community of fungi is stressed as a promising source of novel compounds with anticancer activity, or as an alternative source of compounds originally isolated from higher plants. Endophytes represent a dependable source of specific secondary metabolites, and can be manipulated both physicochemically and genetically to increase yields of desired metabolites and to produce novel analogues of active metabolites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1208-1228
Number of pages21
JournalNatural Product Reports
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2011


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