Angewandte Chemie International Edition

Cover image for Vol. 56 Issue 23

Editor: Peter Gölitz, Deputy Editors: Neville Compton, Haymo Ross

Online ISSN: 1521-3773

Associated Title(s): Angewandte Chemie, Chemistry - A European Journal, Chemistry – An Asian Journal, ChemistryOpen, ChemPhotoChem, ChemPlusChem, Zeitschrift für Chemie

Cover Picture (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 1/1994)

33_01/1994The cover picture shows the structural formula of taxol, R1 = Ph, R2 = OAc, superimposed on the needles of the European yew (photograph: S. C. Wilson, TIME-LIFE Magazine, USA). The source of this cytostatic agent till now has been the bark of the Pacific yew; however, about 3000 trees had to be sacrificed to obtain enough taxol to treat 500 patients. As a rapidly regenerable source of a precursor of taxol, the yew needles can help to remedy the situation, since the 10-deacetylbaccatin III isolable from them can be converted into, for instance, taxotere (R1 = tBuO, R2 = OH) or taxol. Nevertheless, more abundant taxol sources and methods to make taxol accessible by semisynthesis or total synthesis are being sought. The fascinating history of taxol, unfolding along the highly interwoven boundary between medicine, cellular biology, and organic chemistry, is summarized by Nicolaou et al. on pages 45–66.

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