Project: The screening of Southern African plant species for potential anticancer agents interacting with DNA.
01-DEC-98 – 31-DEC-01
Fifty to 100 southern African plant species will be selected on the basis of traditional and scientific knowledge, and their extracts will be screened for their antitumour properties.The screening will involve in vitro screening methods for genetic toxicology. After a preselection based on short term bacterial test systems a further screening will be performed on human cells in vitro. This will give a first indication of the response or human cell systems to the compounds. From active extracts individual components will be isolated and their structure will be elucidated. The purified compounds will again be tested by in vitro screening methods. The identification of so far unknown genotoxic compounds from Southern African plant species can be seen as a first step in the potential development of new antitumour drugs. In the case that such compounds may be identified it is our goal to go on with further investigations including in vivo genotoxicology followed by clinical trials.