About the book
Alkaloids are secondary metabolites with a wide range of biological and pharmacological properties. These nitrogen-containing natural compounds are produced mainly by plants, but also could be found in some animals, insects, algae and marine organisms. Many alkaloids have been used in medicine for centuries, because of their anesthetics, relaxant, cytotoxic, neurotoxic, toxic, anti-microbial activities and anti-cancer activities. Recently, with the advance in alkaloids chemistry, many new structures have been discovered and thousands of synthetic and semisynthetic analogs have been produced. Nowadays, searching for novel drug candidates with improved therapeutic properties greatly increased the scientific attention to alkaloids chemistry, biochemistry and pharmacology. In parallel with the improved methods for isolation and purification from natural sources, various new biotechnological methods, based on plant cell culture technology, have been developed for sustainable production of some valuable and rare alkaloids. This book intends to provide the reader with a comprehensive overview of the current state-of-the-art in alkaloids research, including, but not limited to chemistry, biochemistry, biosynthesis, synthesis and modifications, analytical techniques, pharmacology, biological and physiological activities, bioavailability, and medicinal application of natural, synthetic and semi-synthetic structures.