Exiguamine A (R = H) and B (R = OH), natural products derived from a marine sponge found in the waters of Papua New Guinea, are potent inhibitors of a promising enzyme target implicated in several types of cancer. The total synthesis of both compounds was reported in Nature Chemical Biology in August. They inhibit the enzyme indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase, which is overexpressed in many tumor cell lines, correlates with a poor prognosis for some cancers and seems to play a role in the “immune escape” mechanisms that solid tumors use to avoid recognition by the immune system.
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