Discovery of Bioactive Compounds from Okinawa Subtropical Plants

keywords_en.jpgNatural Product, Subtropical Plant, Okinawa, Cancer, Multidrug Resistance 

division_en.jpg Graduate School of Advanced Sciences of Matter Department of Molecular Biotechnology

position_en.jpgAssociate Professor



Despite the clinical application of many anticancer agents, the top cause of death is still cancer. Search for new anticancer agent is an important issue that must be continuously
addressed to continue today.

Research Summary

The Ryukyu Islands are a rich source of endemic plants and rare species in Japan, providing a valuable resource for natural products chemistry and drug discovery research.
Based on the idea of resource localization in recent years, the use of Okinawa subtropical plants is important now and in future years.
From the extracts of several subtropical plants collected in Okinawa, we have successfully isolated the active principles based on the results of bioassays, such as human cancer
cell growth and multidrug resistance inhibition assays. Then, the chemical structures of the isolated compounds were investigated in detail by various spectral data and chemical


Chemical constituent analysis of several plant samples were performed. The active principles were successfully isolated through the combination of several chromatographic procedures. The chemical structure of these compounds were determined in detail.

For Application

In the pharmaceutical industry, compounds with new chemical structures and good biological activities have patentability. These compounds may contribute to the development of new drugs.

Competitive Advances

Although many drugs have been developed by chemical synthetic methods so far, the origin of these compounds are often related to the compounds found from natural resources. Natural products chemistry fundamentally aims to discover the compounds having new chemical structure. Therefore, an important point of patentability is cleared inevitably.


The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan, Chugoku-Shikoku Branch Award for Young Scientists (2009)
The Japanese Society of Pharmacognosy Award for Divisional Scientific Contributions (2011)