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Review ArticleOpen Access

Maytenus ovatus (schweinf.) An African Medicinal Plant Yielding Potential Anti-cancer Drugs

Volume 1 - Issue 7

Vasanthakumar K1, Sumesh Kumar S*2 and Tsegay Shimelis3

  • Author Information Open or Close
    • 1Professor of the Horticulture Program, Haramaya University, Ethiopia
    • 2Asst Professor in Psychiatric Nursing, Haramaya University, Ethiopia
    • 3Graduate Assistant of the Horticulture Program, Haramaya University, Ethiopia

    *Corresponding author: S Sumesh Kumar, Asst Professor in Psychiatric Nursing , School Of Nursing and Midwifery, Haramaya University, Ethiopia, Tel : 251937480242; Email:

Received: December 01, 2017;   Published: December 06, 2017

DOI: 10.26717/BJSTR.2017.01.000571

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Maytenus ovatus (Schweinf.) of the family Celastraceous is a shrub usually spiny with whitish flowers bearing reddish fruits and is widespread in the savannah regions of tropical Africa [1]. Mountains and sub-mountainous regions of African countries, viz., Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and others are wild habitats for the species, Maytenus ovatus, M. serratus, M. heterophylla and M. senegalensis [2]. Maytansine, a benzo-ansamacrolide (ansamycin antibiotic) is a highly potent microtubuletargeted compound that induces mitotic arrest and kills tumor cells at sub-nano-molar concentrations was originally isolated from the Ethiopian shrub, Maytenus ovatus. Maytansine binds to tubulin at the rhizoxin binding site. It inhibits microtubule assembly, induces microtubule disassembly, and disrupts mitosis. Maytansine exhibits cytotoxicity against many tumor cell lines and also inhibit tumor growth in vivo [3]. Since the discovery of Maytansine from Maytenus ovatus in 1972 as a potent cytotoxic agent, further 53 more maytansinoids have been identified from wild plants, microorganisms and mosses [4].

Introduction| Results and Discussion| Background of the Invention| Conclusion| References|