Calanolide A

SCIENTIFIC NAME(S): Originally isolated from species Calophyllum lanigerum var. austrocoriaceum

COMMON NAME(S): Calanolide A

This recently discovered natural product has been found to specifically inhibit the DNA polymerase activity of HIV-I RT, but not HIV-2 RT. This information warrants further investiga­tion in human clinical trials. Calanolide A has been found to inhibit a wide variety of HIV-1 strains, drug-resistant strains, and HIV disease in various stages. Calanolide A appears to act early in the infection process similar to dideoxycytidine. Calanolide A's complex biochemical mechanism of inhibition has suggested the presence of 2 binding sites, 1 competitive, 1 non-competitive. Calanolide A binds near the active site of the enzyme and interferes with deoxynucleotide triphosphate bind­ingY Many RT inhibitors bind to a common site on HIV-1 RT; whereas calanolide A may bind to a different site or sites on the enzyme. Changes in the nonnucleoside inhibitor binding site itself may also alter effects.


Rain forests are a very promising source of natural medicines because of its vast diversity. It has been estimated that more than half of the world's 250,000 plant species exist in tropical rain forests. Searching for natural drugs in these areas, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) contracts scientists to gather specimens for analysis. In 1987, an Illinois team obtained samples from many trees, one of which was Calophyllum lanigerum. Four years later, the NCI discovered that a preparation from this gum tree was very effective against the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1).Confirmation of species was performed by comparison to Arnold Arboretum species and samples from the Singapore Botanic Garden.

Botany :-

Calanolide A is a compound isolated from the latex of the tree, Calophyllum lanigerum var. auslrocoriaceum, that grows in the rain forest of the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. There are at least 200 species in the genus Calophyllum.

Uses of Calanolide A

Initial studies show promise for treating HIV -1.

Side Effects of Calanolide A

  • The most common side effects seen in people taking calanolide A are headache, oily taste, dizziness, and heartburn.
  • Other side effects may occur as a result of taking calanolide A. These have not yet been fully examined in clinical trials and have not yet been reviewed by the FDA.


Calanolide A will likely need to be taken twice a day. The exact dose has not yet been determined.


It has been mentioned that substance from C. lanigerum destroys the HIV virus without killing healthy cells, but toxicology information is limited because of its recent discovery.

It is not known whether calanolide A will harm an unborn baby. It is very important to treat HIV/AIDS during pregnancy to reduce the risk of infecting your baby. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.

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