From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

10-Deacetylbaccatins are a collection of natural organic compounds found predominantly in certain species of yew trees, notably the Pacific yew tree (Taxus brevifolia). These compounds have attracted significant scientific interest due to their role as precursors to some notable anti-cancer drugs, highlighting the importance of plant-derived molecules in modern medicine.

Natural Source[edit | edit source]

The Pacific yew tree, Taxus brevifolia, native to the Pacific Northwest of North America, has been a focus of scientific study since the discovery of its unique chemical constituents. The bark, needles, and heartwood are all sources of these compounds. The extraction process, however, has sparked ecological concerns due to the potential harm to the yew populations.

Chemical Significance[edit | edit source]

10-Deacetylbaccatin III, a particular derivative of the 10-Deacetylbaccatins family, stands out for its role in drug synthesis. This molecule serves as a crucial intermediate in the production of docetaxel (Taxotere), a powerful anti-cancer drug. Docetaxel is a chemotherapeutic agent that stabilizes microtubules in cells, thereby inhibiting cell division and eventually leading to cell death, particularly in rapidly dividing tumor cells.

Therapeutic Relevance[edit | edit source]

The development of docetaxel (Taxotere) has been groundbreaking in oncology. The drug has been approved for the treatment of a variety of cancers, including breast, prostate, stomach, head and neck cancers. Its origins in the 10-Deacetylbaccatin III molecule underscore the importance of studying and preserving natural biodiversity, as many current and potential drugs have origins in plant-based compounds.

Conservation Concerns[edit | edit source]

The medical significance of 10-Deacetylbaccatins and their derived drugs brought about large-scale harvesting of the Pacific yew tree. This led to ecological concerns and calls for sustainable harvesting techniques to ensure the tree's survival and continued availability as a natural resource.

See Also[edit | edit source]

10-Deacetylbaccatin Resources
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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD