Current Perspectives on Pyrroloiminoquinones: Distribution, Biosynthesis and Drug Discovery Potential

Jarmo Charles J. Kalinski*, Alexandros Polyzois, Samantha C. Waterworth, Xavier Siwe Noundou, Rosemary A. Dorrington

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Pyrroloiminoquinones are a group of cytotoxic alkaloids most commonly isolated from marine sponges. Structurally, they are based on a tricyclic pyrrolo[4,3,2-de]quinoline core and encompass marine natural products such as makaluvamines, tsitsikammamines and discorhabdins. These diverse compounds are known to exhibit a broad spectrum of biological activities including anticancer, antiplasmodial, antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral activities as well as the inhibition of several key cellular enzymes. The resurgence of interest in pyrroloiminoquinones and the convoluted understanding regarding their biological activities have prompted this review. Herein, we provided a concise summary of key findings and recent developments pertaining to their structural diversity, distribution, biogenesis, and their potential as chemical probes for drug development, including a discussion of promising synthetic analogs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8724
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Acarnidae
  • Latrunculiidae
  • batzelline
  • damirone
  • discorhabdin
  • epinardin
  • makaluvamine
  • prianosin
  • sponges
  • tsitsikammamine


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