- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
Frequently toxins are structural analogs of essential metabolites, acting by interfering with normal metabolism. Because ribose derivatives play critical roles in information storage, energy currency, and photosynthesis, ribose should provide the basis for a toxic analog mechanism. The only known simple ribose-analog toxin, (-)-botryodiplodin, exhibits anticancer, antibacterial, antifungal, phytotoxic, mitogenic, and antifertility activities, and may play a role in plant diseases. Unusual structural properties allow oligomerization of (-)-botryodiplodin to pigments and cross-linking agents, which may be responsible for some of its biological activities, but there is no evidence that (-)-botryodiplodin or any other known toxin acts by a ribose-analog mechanism.