Benedicta Donkor; Ernest Opoku
Steroids are one of the essential classes of bioactive compounds and are involved in many biochemical processes which include their role as signaling compounds, the alteration of membrane ...
Steroids are one of the essential classes of bioactive compounds and are involved in many biochemical processes which include their role as signaling compounds, the alteration of membrane fluidity and the regulation of a variety of metabolic processes. In order to identify novel compounds with valuable pharmacological action, the synthesis of improved steroids is gaining much attention in recent times. Among those analogs, heterosteroids particularly azasteroids are one of the most important classes which display a variety of biological activities, often free from undesirable side effects. The challenges in the synthesis of steroids, particularly azasteroids, and the potential of azasteroids as novel drugs has prompted numerous investigations in this field. The synthetic methods leading to steroidal derivatives (azasteroids) with one or more nitrogen atoms are very limited. There are reports on the major skeletal types of steroids and their associated range of biological activities. In addition, there are increasing studies in which known non-steroidal pharmacophore are attached to the steroid skeleton with the aim that the latter might provide lipid solubility, receptor selectivity or membrane-binding properties. All these are testaments on the importance and the ubiquitous nature of steroids. The urgency for the syntheses of a wide array of steroids for several intended biomedical applications are found in the chemical and biochemical literatures. Several efforts are underway to achieve this milestone. There have been developments in therapies for the treatment of breast cancer which target the estrogen receptor. In the domain of rational drug design, a three-dimensional model of the CYP19 aromatase incorporating both the haem and the steroid substrate has been proposed.