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Topical Collection "Natural Products as Leads or Drugs against Neglected Tropical Diseases"

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A topical collection in Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This collection belongs to the section "Natural Products".

Editor

Collection Editor
Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Schmidt (Website)

Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Phytochemistry, University of Münster, Corrensstrasse 48, D-48149 Münster, Germany
Interests: natural products; anti-parasitic activity; structure elucidation; spectroscopy; computer-aided structure-activity relationship studies

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

About one billion people world-wide suffer from at least one of 17 life-threatening diseases currently classified by WHO as Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). These diseases represent a major cause of morbidity, disability and mortality in tropical regions of the world. They are termed “neglected” due to lack of financial investment into research and development of new drugs and almost non-existent public awareness in high-income countries. Being associated with poor socioeconomic and hygienic circumstances, they could also be termed diseases of neglected populations. NTDs comprise infections with pathogens of bacterial (e.g., Leprosy, Trachoma), viral (Dengue fever), helminth (e.g., Schistosomiasis, Filariasis) as well as “protozoan” (African sleeping sickness, Chagas’ disease, Leishmaniasis) origin. In environments where NTDs prevail, Malaria, the most widespread “protozoan” infection—although not currently treated as such by WHO—can also be considered a neglected disease. Notwithstanding recent partial successes in the struggle to eliminate or even eradicate some of these diseases, which have been achieved by WHO’s consequent strategies of disease monitoring, vector control, preventive chemotherapy and others, the development of new, safe and affordable drugs remains an urgent need. Existing pharmacotherapies, especially in case of the “protozoan” parasitoses, suffer from various shortcomings, namely, a high degree of toxicity and unwanted effects, lack of availability and/or problematic application under the life conditions of affected populations, as well as emergence of resistant pathogens, so that the search for new chemical entities showing activity against the NTD-pathogens is a very important field of research.

Nature has provided an innumerable wealth of drugs for the treatment of many serious diseases. Among the natural sources for new bioactive chemicals, terrestrial plants, bacteria and fungi have traditionally played the major roles; however, increasingly over the past few decades, many interesting new active molecules are found in marine life forms. Secondary metabolites from an immense diversity of living organisms thus represent a huge repository of chemical structures which has been and will continue to be a source of new drugs, directly in their native form or after optimization by synthetic medicinal chemistry.

The present Topical collection focuses on such molecules of natural origin that show a promising potential to act against the pathogens responsible for neglected tropical diseases, including Malaria. All aspects related to the discovery and further development of natural products against NTDs will be covered by the issue. It is therefore a pleasure to invite high quality studies, as well as timely review papers, on in vitro and in vivo biological activity, isolation and structure elucidation, synthetic optimization, investigations of the pharmacodynamics and -kinetics, as well as structure-activity relationships of natural products acting against NTDs.

As guest editor, I would like to dedicate my work on this successful topical collection to my former mentor and teacher, Professor emeritus Dr. Günter Willuhn, University of Düsseldorf, on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Schmidt
Collection Editor

 

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs).


Keywords

  • neglected tropical disease
  • natural product
  • secondary metabolite
  • phytochemistry
  • medicinal chemistry of natural products
  • bioactivity testing/screening
  • mechanism of action
  • chagas disease
  • human african trypanosomiasis (Sleeping sickness)
  • leishmaniasis
  • malaria
  • buruli ulcer (mycobacterium ulcerans infection)
  • dengue
  • dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease)
  • echinococcosis
  • foodborne trematodiases
  • leprosy
  • lymphatic filariasis
  • onchocerciasis (river blindness)
  • rabies
  • schistosomiasis
  • soil transmitted helminthiases
  • taeniasis/cysticercosis
  • trachoma
  • yaws (endemic treponematoses)
  • mycetoma

Published Papers (45 papers)

2016

Jump to: 2015, 2014

Open AccessArticle Antiprotozoal and Antiglycation Activities of Sesquiterpene Coumarins from Ferula narthex Exudate
Molecules 2016, 21(10), 1287; doi:10.3390/molecules21101287
Received: 23 August 2016 / Revised: 19 September 2016 / Accepted: 22 September 2016 / Published: 26 September 2016
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Abstract
The exudate of Ferula narthex Boiss. (Apiaceae) is widely used in the Indian subcontinent as a spice and because of its health effects. Six sesquiterpene coumarins have been isolated from this exudate: feselol, ligupersin A, asacoumarin A, 8′-O-acetyl-asacoumarin A, 10′ [...] Read more.
The exudate of Ferula narthex Boiss. (Apiaceae) is widely used in the Indian subcontinent as a spice and because of its health effects. Six sesquiterpene coumarins have been isolated from this exudate: feselol, ligupersin A, asacoumarin A, 8′-O-acetyl-asacoumarin A, 10′R-karatavacinol and 10′R-acetyl-karatavacinol. Based on its use in infectious and diabetic conditions, the isolated constituents were evaluated for antimicrobial and antiglycation activities. Some compounds showed activity against protozoal parasites, asacoumarin A being the most active one against Plasmodium falciparum K1 (IC50 1.3 μM). With regard to antiglycation activity, in the BSA-glucose test, ligupersin A displayed the highest activity (IC50 0.41 mM), being more active than the positive control aminiguanidine (IC50 1.75 mM). In the BSA-MGO assay, the highest activity was shown by 8′-O-acetyl-asacoumarin A (IC50 1.03 mM), being less active than aminoguanidine (IC50 0.15 mM). Hence, the antiglycation activity of the isolated constituents was due to both oxidative and non-oxidative modes of inhibition. Full article
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Open AccessArticle ent-Pimarane and ent-Kaurane Diterpenes from Aldama discolor (Asteraceae) and Their Antiprotozoal Activity
Molecules 2016, 21(9), 1237; doi:10.3390/molecules21091237
Received: 30 August 2016 / Revised: 12 September 2016 / Accepted: 13 September 2016 / Published: 15 September 2016
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Abstract
Aldama discolor (syn.Viguiera discolor) is an endemic Asteraceae from the Brazilian “Cerrado”, which has not previously been investigated for its chemical constituents and biological activity. Diterpenes are common secondary metabolites found in Aldama species, some of which have been reported [...] Read more.
Aldama discolor (syn.Viguiera discolor) is an endemic Asteraceae from the Brazilian “Cerrado”, which has not previously been investigated for its chemical constituents and biological activity. Diterpenes are common secondary metabolites found in Aldama species, some of which have been reported to present potential antiprotozoal and antimicrobial activities. In this study, the known ent-3-α-hydroxy-kaur-16-en-18-ol (1), as well as three new diterpenes, namely, ent-7-oxo-pimara-8,15-diene-18-ol (2), ent-2S,4S-2-19-epoxy-pimara-8(3),15-diene-7β-ol (3) and ent-7-oxo-pimara-8,15-diene-3β-ol (4), were isolated from the dichloromethane extract of A. discolor leaves and identified by means of MS and NMR. The compounds were assayed in vitro against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, T. cruzi and Leishmania donovani, Plasmodium falciparum and also tested for cytotoxicity against mammalian cells (L6 cell line). The ent-kaurane 1 showed significant in vitro activity against both P. falciparum (IC 50 = 3.5 μ M) and L. donovani (IC 50 = 2.5 μ M) and ent-pimarane 2 against P. falciparum (IC 50 = 3.8 μ M). Both compounds returned high selectivity indices (SI >10) in comparison with L6 cells, which makes them interesting candidates for in vivo tests. In addition to the diterpenes, the sesquiterpene lactone budlein A (5), which has been reported to possess a strong anti-T. b. rhodesiense activity, was identified as major compound in the A. discolor extract and explains its high activity against this parasite (100% growth inhibition at 2 μ g/mL). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Antidiarrheal Thymol Derivatives from Ageratina glabrata. Structure and Absolute Configuration of 10-Benzoyloxy-8,9-epoxy-6-hydroxythymol Isobutyrate
Molecules 2016, 21(9), 1132; doi:10.3390/molecules21091132
Received: 7 July 2016 / Revised: 4 August 2016 / Accepted: 24 August 2016 / Published: 12 September 2016
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Abstract
Chemical investigation of the leaves from Ageratina glabrata yielded four new thymol derivatives, namely: 10-benzoyloxy-8,9-dehydro-6-hydroxythymol isobutyrate (4), 10-benzoyloxy-8,9-dehydrothymol (5), 10-benzoyloxythymol (6) and 10-benzoyloxy-6,8-dihydroxy-9-isobutyryl-oxythymol (7). In addition, (8S)-10-benzoyloxy-8,9-epoxy-6-hydroxythymol isobutyrate (1), together [...] Read more.
Chemical investigation of the leaves from Ageratina glabrata yielded four new thymol derivatives, namely: 10-benzoyloxy-8,9-dehydro-6-hydroxythymol isobutyrate (4), 10-benzoyloxy-8,9-dehydrothymol (5), 10-benzoyloxythymol (6) and 10-benzoyloxy-6,8-dihydroxy-9-isobutyryl-oxythymol (7). In addition, (8S)-10-benzoyloxy-8,9-epoxy-6-hydroxythymol isobutyrate (1), together with other two already known thymol derivatives identified as 10-benzoyloxy-8,9-epoxy-6-methoxythymol isobutyrate (2) and 10-benzoyloxy-8,9-epoxythymol isobutyrate (3) were also obtained. In this paper, we report the structures and complete assignments of the 1H and 13C-NMR data of compounds 17, and the absolute configuration for compound 1, unambiguously established by single crystal X-ray diffraction, and evaluation of the Flack parameter. The in vitro antiprotozoal assay showed that compound 1 and its derivative 1a were the most potent antiamoebic and antigiardial compounds. Both compounds showed selectivity and good antiamoebic activity comparable to emetine and metronidazole, respectively, two antiprotozoal drugs used as positive controls. In relation to anti-propulsive effect, compound 1 and 1a showed inhibitory activity, with activities comparable to quercetin and compound 9, two natural antipropulsive compounds used as positive controls. These data suggest that compound 1 may play an important role in antidiarrheal properties of Ageratina glabrata. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication In Vitro Antileishmanial Activity of Sterols from Trametes versicolor (Bres. Rivarden)
Molecules 2016, 21(8), 1045; doi:10.3390/molecules21081045
Received: 22 June 2016 / Revised: 1 August 2016 / Accepted: 5 August 2016 / Published: 10 August 2016
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Abstract
Two ergostanes, 5α,8α-epidioxy-22E-ergosta-6,22-dien-3β-ol (1) and 5α-ergost-7,22-dien-3β-ol (2), and a lanostane, 3β-hydroxylanostan-8,24-diene-21-oic acid (trametenolic acid) (3), were isolated from an n-hexane extract prepared from the fruiting body of Trametes versicolor (Bres. Rivarden). The activity [...] Read more.
Two ergostanes, 5α,8α-epidioxy-22E-ergosta-6,22-dien-3β-ol (1) and 5α-ergost-7,22-dien-3β-ol (2), and a lanostane, 3β-hydroxylanostan-8,24-diene-21-oic acid (trametenolic acid) (3), were isolated from an n-hexane extract prepared from the fruiting body of Trametes versicolor (Bres. Rivarden). The activity of the isolated sterols was evaluated against promastigotes and amastigotes of Leishmania amazonensis Lainson and Shaw, 1972. The lanostane, compound (3), showed the best inhibitory response (IC50 promastigotes 2.9 ± 0.1 μM and IC50 amastigotes 1.6 ± 0.1 μM). This effect was 25-fold higher compared with its cytotoxic effect on peritoneal macrophages from BALB/c mice. Therefore, trametenolic acid could be regarded as a promising lead for the synthesis of compounds with antileishmanial activity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle In Vitro Reversible and Time-Dependent CYP450 Inhibition Profiles of Medicinal Herbal Plant Extracts Newbouldia laevis and Cassia abbreviata: Implications for Herb-Drug Interactions
Molecules 2016, 21(7), 891; doi:10.3390/molecules21070891
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 19 June 2016 / Accepted: 1 July 2016 / Published: 7 July 2016
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Abstract
This study evaluated the effects of Newbouldia laevis and Cassia abbreviata extracts on CYP450 enzyme activity. Recombinant CYP450 enzyme and fluorogenic substrates were used for evaluating inhibition, allowing the assessment of herb–drug interactions (HDI). Phytochemical fingerprinting was performed using UPLC-MS. The herbal [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the effects of Newbouldia laevis and Cassia abbreviata extracts on CYP450 enzyme activity. Recombinant CYP450 enzyme and fluorogenic substrates were used for evaluating inhibition, allowing the assessment of herb–drug interactions (HDI). Phytochemical fingerprinting was performed using UPLC-MS. The herbal extracts were risk ranked for HDI based on the IC50 values determined for each CYP enzyme. Newbouldia laevis inhibited CYP1A2, CYP2C9, and CYP2C19 enzyme activities with Ki of 2.84 µg/mL, 1.55 µg/mL, and 1.23 µg/mL, respectively. N. laevis exhibited a TDI (4.17) effect on CYP1A2 but not CYP2C9 and CYP2C19 enzyme activities. Cassia abbreviata inhibited CYP1A2, CYP2C9, and CYP2C19 enzyme activities showing a Ki of 4.86 µg/mL, 5.98 µg/mL, and 1.58 µg/mL, respectively. TDI potency assessment for Cassia abbreviata showed it as a potential TDI candidate (1.64) for CYP1A2 and CYP2C19 (1.72). UPLC-MS analysis showed that Newbouldia laevis and Cassia abbreviata possess polyphenols that likely give them their therapeutic properties; some of them are likely to be responsible for the observed inhibition. The observations made in this study suggest the potential for these herbal compounds to interact, especially when co-administered with other medications metabolized by these CYP450 enzymes. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle A New Alkamide with an Endoperoxide Structure from Acmella ciliata (Asteraceae) and Its in Vitro Antiplasmodial Activity
Molecules 2016, 21(6), 765; doi:10.3390/molecules21060765
Received: 12 May 2016 / Revised: 1 June 2016 / Accepted: 2 June 2016 / Published: 11 June 2016
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Abstract
From the aerial parts of Acmella ciliata (H.B.K.) Cassini (basionym Spilanthes ciliata Kunth; Asteraceae), three alkamides were isolated and identified by mass- and NMR spectroscopic methods as (2E,6E,8E)-N-isobutyl-2,6,8-decatrienamide (spilanthol, (1)), N-(2-phenethyl)-2 [...] Read more.
From the aerial parts of Acmella ciliata (H.B.K.) Cassini (basionym Spilanthes ciliata Kunth; Asteraceae), three alkamides were isolated and identified by mass- and NMR spectroscopic methods as (2E,6E,8E)-N-isobutyl-2,6,8-decatrienamide (spilanthol, (1)), N-(2-phenethyl)-2E-en-6,8-nonadiynamide (2) and (2E,7Z)-6,9-endoperoxy-N-isobutyl-2,7-decadienamide (3). While 1 and 2 are known alkamides, compound 3 has not been described until now. It was found that the unusual cyclic peroxide 3 exists as a racemate of both enantiomers of each alkamide; the 6,9-cis- as well as the 6,9-trans-configured diastereomers, the former represents the major, the latter the minor constituent of the mixture. In vitro tests for activity against the human pathogenic parasites Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and Plasmodium falciparum revealed that 1 and 3 possess activity against the NF54 strain of the latter (IC50 values of 4.5 and 5.1 µM, respectively) while 2 was almost inactive. Compound 3 was also tested against multiresistant P. falciparum K1 and was found to be even more active against this parasite strain (IC50 = 2.1 µM) with considerable selectivity (IC50 against L6 rat skeletal myoblasts = 168 µM). Full article
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Open AccessArticle In Vitro Activity of Selected West African Medicinal Plants against Mycobacterium ulcerans Disease
Molecules 2016, 21(4), 445; doi:10.3390/molecules21040445
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 25 March 2016 / Accepted: 29 March 2016 / Published: 13 April 2016
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Abstract
Buruli ulcer (BU) is the third most prevalent mycobacteriosis, after tuberculosis and leprosy. The currently recommended combination of rifampicin-streptomycin suffers from side effects and poor compliance, which leads to reliance on local herbal remedies. The objective of this study was to investigate [...] Read more.
Buruli ulcer (BU) is the third most prevalent mycobacteriosis, after tuberculosis and leprosy. The currently recommended combination of rifampicin-streptomycin suffers from side effects and poor compliance, which leads to reliance on local herbal remedies. The objective of this study was to investigate the antimycobacterial properties and toxicity of selected medicinal plants. Sixty-five extracts from 27 plant species were screened against Mycobacterium ulcerans and Mycobacterium smegmatis, using the Resazurin Microtiter Assay (REMA). The cytotoxicity of promising extracts was assayed on normal Chang liver cells by an MTT assay. Twenty five extracts showed activity with minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values ranging from 16 µg/mL to 250 µg/mL against M. smegmatis, while 17 showed activity against M. ulcerans with MIC values ranging from 125 µg/mL to 250 µg/mL. In most of the cases, plant extracts with antimycobacterial activity showed no cytotoxicity on normal human liver cells. Exception were Carica papaya, Cleistopholis patens, and Polyalthia suaveolens with 50% cell cytotoxic concentrations (CC50) ranging from 3.8 to 223 µg/mL. These preliminary results support the use of some West African plants in the treatment of Buruli ulcer. Meanwhile, further studies are required to isolate and characterize the active ingredients in the extracts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Phenolic Constituents of Medicinal Plants with Activity against Trypanosoma brucei
Molecules 2016, 21(4), 480; doi:10.3390/molecules21040480
Received: 24 March 2016 / Revised: 1 April 2016 / Accepted: 1 April 2016 / Published: 12 April 2016
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Abstract
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect over one billion people all over the world. These diseases are classified as neglected because they impact populations in areas with poor financial conditions and hence do not attract sufficient research investment. Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT or [...] Read more.
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect over one billion people all over the world. These diseases are classified as neglected because they impact populations in areas with poor financial conditions and hence do not attract sufficient research investment. Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT or sleeping sickness), caused by the parasite Trypanosoma brucei, is one of the NTDs. The current therapeutic interventions for T. brucei infections often have toxic side effects or require hospitalization so that they are not available in the rural environments where HAT occurs. Furthermore, parasite resistance is increasing, so that there is an urgent need to identify novel lead compounds against this infection. Recognizing the wide structural diversity of natural products, we desired to explore and identify novel antitrypanosomal chemotypes from a collection of natural products obtained from plants. In this study, 440 pure compounds from various medicinal plants were tested against T. brucei by in a screening using whole cell in vitro assays. As the result, twenty-two phenolic compounds exhibited potent activity against cultures of T. brucei. Among them, eight compounds—4, 7, 11, 14, 15, 18, 20, and 21—showed inhibitory activity against T. brucei, with IC50 values below 5 µM, ranging from 0.52 to 4.70 μM. Based on these results, we attempt to establish some general trends with respect to structure-activity relationships, which indicate that further investigation and optimization of these derivatives might enable the preparation of potentially useful compounds for treating HAT. Full article

2015

Jump to: 2016, 2014

Open AccessArticle Leishmanicidal Activity of (+)-Phyllanthidine and the Phytochemical Profile of Margaritaria nobilis (Phyllanthaceae)
Molecules 2015, 20(12), 22157-22169; doi:10.3390/molecules201219829
Received: 7 October 2015 / Revised: 26 November 2015 / Accepted: 27 November 2015 / Published: 11 December 2015
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Abstract
The effects of the Securinega alkaloid (+)-phyllanthidine on Leishmania (L.) amazonensis and the first chemical investigation of Margaritaria nobilis L.f. (Phyllanthaceae) are described. Treating the parasites with this alkaloid caused a dose-dependent reduction in promastigote growth of 67.68% (IC50 82.37 μg/mL [...] Read more.
The effects of the Securinega alkaloid (+)-phyllanthidine on Leishmania (L.) amazonensis and the first chemical investigation of Margaritaria nobilis L.f. (Phyllanthaceae) are described. Treating the parasites with this alkaloid caused a dose-dependent reduction in promastigote growth of 67.68% (IC50 82.37 μg/mL or 353 µM) and in amastigote growth of 83.96% (IC50 49.11 μg/mL or 210 µM), together with ultrastructural alterations in the promastigotes. No cytotoxic effect was detected in mammalian cells (CC50 1727.48 µg/mL or CC50 5268 µM). Classical chromatographic techniques and spectral methods led to the isolation and identification of betulinic acid, kaempferol, corilagin, gallic acid and its methyl ester, besides (+)-phyllanthidine from M. nobilis leaves and stems. Margaritaria nobilis is another source of the small group of Securinega alkaloids, together with other Phyllanthaceae (Euphorbiaceae s.l.) species. The low toxicity to macrophages and the effects against promastigotes and amastigotes are suggestive that (+)-phyllanthidine could be a promising antileishmanial agent for treating cutaneous leishmaniasis. Full article
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Open AccessCorrection Lewies, A., et al. The Potential Use of Natural and Structural Analogues of Antimicrobial Peptides in the Fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases. Molecules 2015, 20, 15392–15433
Molecules 2015, 20(9), 16757; doi:10.3390/molecules200916757
Received: 3 September 2015 / Accepted: 7 September 2015 / Published: 14 September 2015
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Abstract The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper [1]: [...] Full article
Open AccessReview The Potential Use of Natural and Structural Analogues of Antimicrobial Peptides in the Fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases
Molecules 2015, 20(8), 15392-15433; doi:10.3390/molecules200815392
Received: 13 July 2015 / Revised: 2 August 2015 / Accepted: 10 August 2015 / Published: 24 August 2015
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Abstract
Recently, research into the development of new antimicrobial agents has been driven by the increase in resistance to traditional antibiotics and Emerging Infectious Diseases. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are promising candidates as alternatives to current antibiotics in the treatment and prevention of microbial [...] Read more.
Recently, research into the development of new antimicrobial agents has been driven by the increase in resistance to traditional antibiotics and Emerging Infectious Diseases. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are promising candidates as alternatives to current antibiotics in the treatment and prevention of microbial infections. AMPs are produced by all known living species, displaying direct antimicrobial killing activity and playing an important role in innate immunity. To date, more than 2000 AMPs have been discovered and many of these exhibit broad-spectrum antibacterial, antiviral and anti-parasitic activity. Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are caused by a variety of pathogens and are particularly wide-spread in low-income and developing regions of the world. Alternative, cost effective treatments are desperately needed to effectively battle these medically diverse diseases. AMPs have been shown to be effective against a variety of NTDs, including African trypanosomes, leishmaniosis and Chagas disease, trachoma and leprosy. In this review, the potential of selected AMPs to successfully treat a variety of NTD infections will be critically evaluated. Full article
Open AccessArticle Anti-Protozoal Activities of Cembrane-Type Diterpenes from Vietnamese Soft Corals
Molecules 2015, 20(7), 12459-12468; doi:10.3390/molecules200712459
Received: 29 May 2015 / Revised: 2 July 2015 / Accepted: 3 July 2015 / Published: 8 July 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (552 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Based on our previous finding that certain cembranoid diterpenes possess selective toxicity against protozoan pathogens of tropical diseases such as Trypanosoma and Plasmodium, we have subjected a series of 34 cembranes isolated from soft corals living in the Vietnamese sea to [...] Read more.
Based on our previous finding that certain cembranoid diterpenes possess selective toxicity against protozoan pathogens of tropical diseases such as Trypanosoma and Plasmodium, we have subjected a series of 34 cembranes isolated from soft corals living in the Vietnamese sea to an in vitro screening for anti-protozoal activity against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (Tbr), T. cruzi (Tc), Leishmania donovani (Ld), and Plasmodium falciparum (Pf). Twelve of the tested compounds displayed significant activity against at least one of the parasites. Specifically, 7S,8S-epoxy-1,3,11-cembratriene-16-oic methyl ester (1), (1R,4R,2E,7E,11E)-cembra-2,7,11-trien-4-ol (2), crassumol D (12), crassumol E (13), and (1S,2E,4S,6E,8S,11S)-2,6,12(20)-cembrantriene-4,8,11-triol (16) from Lobophytum crassum, L. laevigatum, and Sinularia maxima showed the highest level of inhibitory activity against T. b. rhodesiense, with IC50 values of about 1 µM or less. Lobocrasol A (6) and lobocrasol C (8) from L. crassum and L. laevigatum exhibited particularly significant inhibitory effects on L. donovani with IC50 values < 0.2 µM. The best antiplasmodial effect was exerted by laevigatol A (10), with an IC50 value of about 3.0 µM. The cytotoxicity of the active compounds on L6 rat skeletal myoblast cell was also assessed and found to be insignificant in all cases. This is the first report on anti-protozoal activity of these compounds, and points out the potential of the soft corals in discovery of new anti-protozoal lead compounds. Full article
Open AccessArticle Anti-Schistosomal Activity of Cinnamic Acid Esters: Eugenyl and Thymyl Cinnamate Induce Cytoplasmic Vacuoles and Death in Schistosomula of Schistosoma mansoni
Molecules 2015, 20(6), 10873-10883; doi:10.3390/molecules200610873
Received: 5 May 2015 / Revised: 3 June 2015 / Accepted: 8 June 2015 / Published: 12 June 2015
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Abstract
Bornyl caffeate (1) was previously isolated by us from Valeriana (V.) wallichii rhizomes and identified as an anti-leishmanial substance. Here, we screened a small compound library of synthesized derivatives 130 for activity against schistosomula of Schistosoma (S.) mansoni [...] Read more.
Bornyl caffeate (1) was previously isolated by us from Valeriana (V.) wallichii rhizomes and identified as an anti-leishmanial substance. Here, we screened a small compound library of synthesized derivatives 130 for activity against schistosomula of Schistosoma (S.) mansoni. Compound 1 did not show any anti-schistosomal activity. However, strong phenotypic changes, including the formation of vacuoles, degeneration and death were observed after in vitro treatment with compounds 23 (thymyl cinnamate) and 27 (eugenyl cinnamate). Electron microscopy analysis of the induced vacuoles in the dying parasites suggests that 23 and 27 interfere with autophagy. Full article
Open AccessArticle PLS-Prediction and Confirmation of Hydrojuglone Glucoside as the Antitrypanosomal Constituent of Juglans Spp.
Molecules 2015, 20(6), 10082-10094; doi:10.3390/molecules200610082
Received: 27 April 2015 / Revised: 26 May 2015 / Accepted: 27 May 2015 / Published: 29 May 2015
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Abstract
Naphthoquinones (NQs) occur naturally in a large variety of plants. Several NQs are highly active against protozoans, amongst them the causative pathogens of neglected tropical diseases such as human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Chagas disease and leishmaniasis. Prominent NQ-producing plants can be [...] Read more.
Naphthoquinones (NQs) occur naturally in a large variety of plants. Several NQs are highly active against protozoans, amongst them the causative pathogens of neglected tropical diseases such as human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Chagas disease and leishmaniasis. Prominent NQ-producing plants can be found among Juglans spp. (Juglandaceae) with juglone derivatives as known constituents. In this study, 36 highly variable extracts were prepared from different plant parts of J. regia, J. cinerea and J. nigra. For all extracts, antiprotozoal activity was determined against the protozoans Trypanosoma cruzi, T. brucei rhodesiense and Leishmania donovani. In addition, an LC-MS fingerprint was recorded for each extract. With each extract’s fingerprint and the data on in vitro growth inhibitory activity against T. brucei rhodesiense a Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression model was calculated in order to obtain an indication of compounds responsible for the differences in bioactivity between the 36 extracts. By means of PLS, hydrojuglone glucoside was predicted as an active compound against T. brucei and consequently isolated and tested in vitro. In fact, the pure compound showed activity against T. brucei at a significantly lower cytotoxicity towards mammalian cells than established antiprotozoal NQs such as lapachol. Full article
Open AccessArticle Antitrypanosomal Acetylene Fatty Acid Derivatives from the Seeds of Porcelia macrocarpa (Annonaceae)
Molecules 2015, 20(5), 8168-8180; doi:10.3390/molecules20058168
Received: 22 January 2015 / Revised: 20 March 2015 / Accepted: 24 March 2015 / Published: 7 May 2015
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Abstract
Chagas’ disease is caused by a parasitic protozoan and affects the poorest population in the world, causing high mortality and morbidity. As a result of the toxicity and long duration of current treatments, the discovery of novel and more efficacious drugs is [...] Read more.
Chagas’ disease is caused by a parasitic protozoan and affects the poorest population in the world, causing high mortality and morbidity. As a result of the toxicity and long duration of current treatments, the discovery of novel and more efficacious drugs is crucial. In this work, the hexane extract from seeds of Porcelia macrocarpa R.E. Fries (Annonaceae) displayed in vitro antitrypanosomal activity against trypomastigote forms of T. cruzi by the colorimetric MTT assay (IC50 of 65.44 μg/mL). Using chromatographic fractionation over SiO2, this extract afforded a fraction composed by one active compound (IC50 of 10.70 µg/mL), which was chemically characterized as 12,14-octadecadiynoic acid (macrocarpic acid). Additionally, two new inactive acetylene compounds (α,α'-dimacro-carpoyl-β-oleylglycerol and α-macrocarpoyl-α'-oleylglycerol) were also isolated from the hexane extract. The complete characterization of the isolated compounds was performed by analysis of NMR and MS data as well as preparation of derivatives. Full article
Open AccessReview Anti-Trypanosomal Activity of Nigerian Plants and Their Constituents
Molecules 2015, 20(5), 7750-7771; doi:10.3390/molecules20057750
Received: 16 December 2014 / Revised: 17 April 2015 / Accepted: 22 April 2015 / Published: 28 April 2015
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Abstract
African trypanosomiasis is a vector-borne parasitic disease causing serious risks to the lives of about 60 million people and 48 million cattle globally. Nigerian medicinal plants are known to contain a large variety of chemical structures and some of the plant extracts [...] Read more.
African trypanosomiasis is a vector-borne parasitic disease causing serious risks to the lives of about 60 million people and 48 million cattle globally. Nigerian medicinal plants are known to contain a large variety of chemical structures and some of the plant extracts have been screened for antitrypanosomal activity, in the search for potential new drugs against the illness. We surveyed the literatures on plants and plant-derived products with antitrypanosomal activity from Nigerian flora published from 1990 to 2014. About 90 plants were identified, with 54 compounds as potential active agents and presented by plant families in alphabetical order. This review indicates that the Nigerian flora may be suitable as a starting point in searching for new and more efficient trypanocidal molecules. Full article
Open AccessArticle Antileishmanial and Cytotoxic Compounds from Valeriana wallichii and Identification of a Novel Nepetolactone Derivative
Molecules 2015, 20(4), 5740-5753; doi:10.3390/molecules20045740
Received: 24 February 2015 / Revised: 26 March 2015 / Accepted: 27 March 2015 / Published: 1 April 2015
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Abstract
The chloroform extract of Valeriana wallichii (V. wallichii) rhizomes was investigated to elucidate the structures responsible for reported antileishmanial activity. Besides bornyl caffeate (1, already been reported by us previously), bioassay-guided fractionation resulted in two additional cinnamic acid [...] Read more.
The chloroform extract of Valeriana wallichii (V. wallichii) rhizomes was investigated to elucidate the structures responsible for reported antileishmanial activity. Besides bornyl caffeate (1, already been reported by us previously), bioassay-guided fractionation resulted in two additional cinnamic acid derivatives 23 with moderate leishmanicidal activity. The structure of a novel nepetolactone derivative 4 having a cinnamic acid moiety was elucidated by means of spectral analysis. To the best of our knowledge villoside aglycone (5) was isolated from this plant for the first time. The bioassay-guided fractionation yielded two new (compounds 67) and two known valtrates (compounds 89) with leishmanicidal potential against Leishmania major (L. major) promastigotes. In addition, β-bisabolol (10), α-kessyl alcohol (11), valeranone (12), bornyl isovalerate (13) and linarin-2-O-methylbutyrate (14) were identified. This is the first report on the isolation of 4'-demethylpodophyllotoxin (15), podophyllotoxin (16) and pinoresinol (17) in V. wallichii. In total thirteen known and four new compounds were identified from the extract and their cytotoxic and antileishmanial properties were evaluated. Full article
Open AccessReview Natural Products for the Treatment of Trachoma and Chlamydia trachomatis
Molecules 2015, 20(3), 4180-4203; doi:10.3390/molecules20034180
Received: 15 December 2014 / Revised: 11 February 2015 / Accepted: 24 February 2015 / Published: 5 March 2015
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Abstract
The neglected tropical disease (NTD) trachoma is currently the leading cause of eye disease in the world, and the pathogenic bacteria causing this condition, Chlamydia trachomatis, is also the most common sexually transmitted pathogenic bacterium. Although the serovars of this bacterial species [...] Read more.
The neglected tropical disease (NTD) trachoma is currently the leading cause of eye disease in the world, and the pathogenic bacteria causing this condition, Chlamydia trachomatis, is also the most common sexually transmitted pathogenic bacterium. Although the serovars of this bacterial species typically vary between ocular and genital infections there is a clear connection between genital C. trachomatis infections and the development of trachoma in infants, such that the solutions to these infections are closely related. It is the unique life cycle of the C. trachomatis bacteria which primarily leads to chronic infections and challenges in treatment using conventional antibiotics. This life cycle involves stages of infective elementary bodies (EBs) and reproductive reticulate bodies (RBs). Most antibiotics only target the reproductive RBs and this often leads to the need for prolonged therapy which facilitates the development of drug resistant pathogens. It is through combining several compounds to obtain multiple antimicrobial mechanisms that we are most likely to develop a reliable means to address all these issues. Traditional and ethnobotanical medicine provides valuable resources for the development of novel formulations and treatment regimes based on synergistic and multi-compound therapy. In this review we intend to summarize the existing literature on the application of natural compounds for controlling trachoma and inhibiting chlamydial bacteria and explore the potential for the development of new treatment modalities. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Role of Phosphoglycans in the Susceptibility of Leishmania mexicana to the Temporin Family of Anti-Microbial Peptides
Molecules 2015, 20(2), 2775-2785; doi:10.3390/molecules20022775
Received: 11 December 2014 / Accepted: 28 January 2015 / Published: 6 February 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2936 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Natural product antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been proposed as promising agents against the Leishmania species, insect vector borne protozoan parasites causing the neglected tropical disease leishmaniasis. However, recent studies have shown that the mammalian pathogenic amastigote form of L. mexicana, a [...] Read more.
Natural product antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been proposed as promising agents against the Leishmania species, insect vector borne protozoan parasites causing the neglected tropical disease leishmaniasis. However, recent studies have shown that the mammalian pathogenic amastigote form of L. mexicana, a causative agent of cutaneous leishmaniasis, is resistant to the amphibian-derived temporin family of AMPs when compared to the insect stage promastigote form. The mode of resistance is unknown, however the insect and mammalian stages of Leishmania possess radically different cell surface coats, with amastigotes displaying low (or zero) quantities of lipophosphoglycan (LPG) and proteophosphoglycan (PPG), macromolecules which form thick a glycocalyx in promastigotes. It has been predicted that negatively charged LPG and PPG influence the sensitivity/resistance of promastigote forms to cationic temporins. Using LPG and PPG mutant L. mexicana, and an extended range of temporins, in this study we demonstrated that whilst LPG has little role, PPG is a major factor in promastigote sensitivity to the temporin family of AMPs, possibly due to the conferred anionic charge. Therefore, the lack of PPG seen on the surface of pathogenic amastigote L. mexicana may be implicated in their resistance to these peptides. Full article
Open AccessReview Natural Products as Leads in Schistosome Drug Discovery
Molecules 2015, 20(2), 1872-1903; doi:10.3390/molecules20021872
Received: 12 December 2014 / Revised: 31 December 2014 / Accepted: 14 January 2015 / Published: 23 January 2015
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Abstract
Schistosomiasis is a neglected parasitic tropical disease that claims around 200,000 human lives every year. Praziquantel (PZQ), the only drug recommended by the World Health Organization for the treatment and control of human schistosomiasis, is now facing the threat of drug resistance, [...] Read more.
Schistosomiasis is a neglected parasitic tropical disease that claims around 200,000 human lives every year. Praziquantel (PZQ), the only drug recommended by the World Health Organization for the treatment and control of human schistosomiasis, is now facing the threat of drug resistance, indicating the urgent need for new effective compounds to treat this disease. Therefore, globally, there is renewed interest in natural products (NPs) as a starting point for drug discovery and development for schistosomiasis. Recent advances in genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, and cheminformatics have brought about unprecedented opportunities for the rapid and more cost-effective discovery of new bioactive compounds against neglected tropical diseases. This review highlights the main contributions that NP drug discovery and development have made in the treatment of schistosomiasis and it discusses how integration with virtual screening (VS) strategies may contribute to accelerating the development of new schistosomidal leads, especially through the identification of unexplored, biologically active chemical scaffolds and structural optimization of NPs with previously established activity. Full article

2014

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Open AccessArticle Insecticidal Activities of Bark, Leaf and Seed Extracts of Zanthoxylum heitzii against the African Malaria Vector Anopheles gambiae
Molecules 2014, 19(12), 21276-21290; doi:10.3390/molecules191221276
Received: 16 October 2014 / Revised: 5 December 2014 / Accepted: 9 December 2014 / Published: 17 December 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1073 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The olon tree, Zanthoxylum heitzii (syn. Fagara heitzii) is commonly found in the central-west African forests. In the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville) its bark is anecdotally reported to provide human protection against fleas. Here we assess the insecticidal activities of Z. [...] Read more.
The olon tree, Zanthoxylum heitzii (syn. Fagara heitzii) is commonly found in the central-west African forests. In the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville) its bark is anecdotally reported to provide human protection against fleas. Here we assess the insecticidal activities of Z. heitzii stem bark, seed and leaf extracts against Anopheles gambiae s.s, the main malaria vector in Africa. Extracts were obtained by Accelerated Solvent Extraction (ASE) using solvents of different polarity and by classical Soxhlet extraction using hexane as solvent. The insecticidal effects of the crude extracts were evaluated using topical applications of insecticides on mosquitoes of a susceptible reference strain (Kisumu [Kis]), a strain homozygous for the L1014F kdr mutation (kdrKis), and a strain homozygous for the G119S Ace1R allele (AcerKis). The insecticidal activities were measured using LD50 and LD95 and active extracts were characterized by NMR spectroscopy and HPLC chromatography. Results show that the ASE hexane stem bark extract was the most effective compound against An. gambiae (LD50 = 102 ng/mg female), but was not as effective as common synthetic insecticides. Overall, there was no significant difference between the responses of the three mosquito strains to Z. heitzii extracts, indicating no cross resistance with conventional pesticides. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Antiprotozoal Activity against Entamoeba histolytica of Plants Used in Northeast Mexican Traditional Medicine. Bioactive Compounds from Lippia graveolens and Ruta chalepensis
Molecules 2014, 19(12), 21044-21065; doi:10.3390/molecules191221044
Received: 12 September 2014 / Revised: 10 December 2014 / Accepted: 11 December 2014 / Published: 15 December 2014
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Abstract
Amoebiasis caused by Entamoeba histolytica is associated with high morbidity and mortality is becoming a major public health problem worldwide, especially in developing countries. Because of the side-effects and the resistance that pathogenic protozoa build against the standard antiparasitic drugs, e.g., metronidazole, [...] Read more.
Amoebiasis caused by Entamoeba histolytica is associated with high morbidity and mortality is becoming a major public health problem worldwide, especially in developing countries. Because of the side-effects and the resistance that pathogenic protozoa build against the standard antiparasitic drugs, e.g., metronidazole, much recent attention has been paid to plants used in traditional medicine around the world in order to find new antiprotozoal agents. We collected 32 plants used in Northeast Mexican traditional medicine and the methanolic extracts of these species were screened for antiprotozoal activity against E. histolytica trophozoites using in vitro tests. Only 18 extracts showed a significant inhibiting activity and among them six plant extracts showed more than 80% growth inhibition against E. histolytica at a concentration of 150 µg/mL and the IC50 values of these extracts were determined. Lippia graveolens Kunth and Ruta chalepensis Pers. showed the more significant antiprotozoal activity (91.54% and 90.50% growth inhibition at a concentration of 150 µg/mL with IC50 values of 59.14 and 60.07 µg/mL, respectively). Bioassay-guided fractionation of the methanolic extracts from these two plants afforded carvacrol (1) and chalepensin (2), respectively, as bioactive compounds with antiprotozoal activity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Preparation of Rotenone Derivatives and in Vitro Analysis of Their Antimalarial, Antileishmanial and Selective Cytotoxic Activities
Molecules 2014, 19(11), 18911-18922; doi:10.3390/molecules191118911
Received: 26 August 2014 / Revised: 12 November 2014 / Accepted: 13 November 2014 / Published: 18 November 2014
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Abstract
Six derivatives of the known biopesticide rotenone were prepared by several chemical transformations. Rotenone and its derivatives showed differential in vitro antiparasitic activity and selective cytotoxicity. In general, compounds were more active against Plasmodium falciparum than Leishmania panamensis. Rotenone had an [...] Read more.
Six derivatives of the known biopesticide rotenone were prepared by several chemical transformations. Rotenone and its derivatives showed differential in vitro antiparasitic activity and selective cytotoxicity. In general, compounds were more active against Plasmodium falciparum than Leishmania panamensis. Rotenone had an EC50 of 19.0 µM against P. falciparum, and 127.2 µM against L. panamensis. Although chemical transformation does not improve its biological profile against P. falciparum, three of its derivatives showed a significant level of action within an adequate range of activity with EC50 values < 50.0 µM. This antiplasmodial activity was not due to red blood cell hemolysis, since LC50 was >>400 µM. On the other hand, all derivatives displayed a non-specific cytotoxicity on several cell lines and primary human cell cultures. Full article
Open AccessReview New Uses for Old Drugs: The Tale of Artemisinin Derivatives in the Elimination of Schistosomiasis Japonica in China
Molecules 2014, 19(9), 15058-15074; doi:10.3390/molecules190915058
Received: 29 July 2014 / Revised: 9 September 2014 / Accepted: 10 September 2014 / Published: 19 September 2014
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Abstract
Artemisinin (qinghaosu), extracted from the Chinese herb Artemisia annua L. in 1972, and its three major derivatives—artemether, artesunate and dihydroartemisinin—were firstly identified as antimalarials and found active against all species of the malaria parasite. Since the early 1980s, artemisinin and its derivatives [...] Read more.
Artemisinin (qinghaosu), extracted from the Chinese herb Artemisia annua L. in 1972, and its three major derivatives—artemether, artesunate and dihydroartemisinin—were firstly identified as antimalarials and found active against all species of the malaria parasite. Since the early 1980s, artemisinin and its derivatives have been found efficacious against Schistosoma spp., notably larval parasites, and artemisinin derivatives have played a critical role in the prevention and treatment of human schistosomiasis in China. Currently, China is moving towards the progress of schistosomiasis elimination. However, the potential development of praziquantel resistance may pose a great threat to the progress of elimination of schistosomiasis japonica in China. Fortunately, these three major artemisinin derivatives also exhibit actions against adult parasites, and reduced sensitivity to artemether, artesunate and dihydroartemisinin has been detected in praziquantel-resistant S. japonicum. In this review, we describe the application of artemisinin derivatives in the prevention and treatment of schistosomiasis japonica in China, so as to provide tools for the global agenda of schistosomiasis elimination. In addition to antimalarial and antischistosomal actions, they also show activities against other parasites and multiple cancers. Artemisinin derivatives, as old drugs identified firstly as antimalarials, continue to create new stories. Full article
Open AccessReview Hinokinin, an Emerging Bioactive Lignan
Molecules 2014, 19(9), 14862-14878; doi:10.3390/molecules190914862
Received: 24 June 2014 / Revised: 10 September 2014 / Accepted: 10 September 2014 / Published: 17 September 2014
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Abstract Hinokinin is a lignan isolated from several plant species that has been recently investigated in order to establish its biological activities. So far, its cytotoxicity, its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities have been studied. Particularly interesting is its notable anti-trypanosomal activity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The in Vitro Biological Activity of the Brazilian Brown Seaweed Dictyota mertensii against Leishmania amazonensis
Molecules 2014, 19(9), 14052-14065; doi:10.3390/molecules190914052
Received: 11 July 2014 / Revised: 30 August 2014 / Accepted: 30 August 2014 / Published: 9 September 2014
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Abstract
Seaweeds present a wide variety of interesting bioactive molecules. In the present work we evaluated the biological activity of the dichloromethane/methanol (2:1) extract (DME) from the brown seaweed Dictyota mertensii against Leishmania amazonensis and its cytotoxic potential on mammalian cells. The extract [...] Read more.
Seaweeds present a wide variety of interesting bioactive molecules. In the present work we evaluated the biological activity of the dichloromethane/methanol (2:1) extract (DME) from the brown seaweed Dictyota mertensii against Leishmania amazonensis and its cytotoxic potential on mammalian cells. The extract showed significant inhibitory effect on the growth of promastigote forms (IC50 = 71.60 μg/mL) and low toxicity against mammalian cells (CC50 = 233.10 μg/mL). The DME was also efficient in inhibiting the infection in macrophages, with CC50 of 81.4 μg/mL and significantly decreased the survival of amastigote forms within these cells. The selectivity index showed that DME was more toxic to both promastigote (SI = 3.25) and amastigote (SI = 2.86) forms than to macrophages. Increased NO production was observed in treated macrophages suggesting that besides acting directly on the parasites, the DME also shows an immunomodulatory effect on macrophages. Drastic ultrastructural alterations consistent with loss of viability and cell death were observed in treated parasites. Confocal microscopy and cytometry analyzes showed no significant impairment of plasma membrane integrity, whereas an intense depolarization of mitochondrial membrane could be observed by using propidium iodide and rhodamine 123 staining, respectively. The low toxicity to mammalian cells and the effective activity against promastigotes and amastigotes, point to the use of DME as a promising agent for the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis. Full article
Open AccessArticle In Vivo Antiplasmodial Potentials of the Combinations of Four Nigerian Antimalarial Plants
Molecules 2014, 19(9), 13136-13146; doi:10.3390/molecules190913136
Received: 18 June 2014 / Revised: 18 August 2014 / Accepted: 19 August 2014 / Published: 26 August 2014
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Abstract
Various combinations of Nauclea latifolia root, Artocarpus altilis stem bark, Murraya koenigii leaf and Enantia chlorantha stem bark used in African ethnomedicine as decoctions for malaria and fevers, and combinations with standard drugs, were investigated for antiplasmodial activities using Plasmodium berghei berghei- [...] Read more.
Various combinations of Nauclea latifolia root, Artocarpus altilis stem bark, Murraya koenigii leaf and Enantia chlorantha stem bark used in African ethnomedicine as decoctions for malaria and fevers, and combinations with standard drugs, were investigated for antiplasmodial activities using Plasmodium berghei berghei-infected mice. The respective prophylactic and curative ED50 values of 189.4 and 174.5 mg/kg for N. latifolia and chemosuppressive ED50 value of 227.2 mg/kg for A. altilis showed that they were the best antimalarial herbal drugs. A 1.6-fold increase of the survival time given by the negative control was elicited by M. koenigii, thereby confirming its curative activity. Pyrimethamine with an ED50 of 0.5 ± 0.1 mg/kg for the prophylactic, and chloroquine with ED50 = 2.2 ± 0.1 and 2.2 ± 0.0 mg/kg for the chemosuppressive and curative tests, respectively, were significantly (p < 0.05) more active. Co-administrations of N. latifolia with the standard drugs significantly reduced their prophylactic, chemosuppressive and curative actions, possibly increasing the parasites’ resistance. Binary combinations of N. latifolia or M. koenigii with any of the other plants significantly increased the prophylactic and suppressive activities of their individual plants, respectively. Also, E. chlorantha with A. altilis or N. latifolia enhanced their respective prophylactic or curative activities, making these combinations most beneficial against malaria infections. Combinations of three and four extracts gave varied activities. Hence, the results justified the combinations of ethnomedicinal plants in antimalarial herbal remedies and showed the importance of the three in vivo models in establishing antimalarial activity. Full article
Open AccessArticle Hologram QSAR Studies of Antiprotozoal Activities of Sesquiterpene Lactones
Molecules 2014, 19(7), 10546-10562; doi:10.3390/molecules190710546
Received: 4 April 2014 / Revised: 8 July 2014 / Accepted: 9 July 2014 / Published: 18 July 2014
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Abstract
Infectious diseases such as trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis are considered neglected tropical diseases due the lack for many years of research and development into new drug treatments besides the high incidence of mortality and the lack of current safe and effective drug therapies. [...] Read more.
Infectious diseases such as trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis are considered neglected tropical diseases due the lack for many years of research and development into new drug treatments besides the high incidence of mortality and the lack of current safe and effective drug therapies. Natural products such as sesquiterpene lactones have shown activity against T. brucei and L. donovani, the parasites responsible for these neglected diseases. To evaluate structure activity relationships, HQSAR models were constructed to relate a series of 40 sesquiterpene lactones (STLs) with activity against T. brucei, T. cruzi, L. donovani and P. falciparum and also with their cytotoxicity. All constructed models showed good internal (leave-one-out q2 values ranging from 0.637 to 0.775) and external validation coefficients (r2test values ranging from 0.653 to 0.944). From HQSAR contribution maps, several differences between the most and least potent compounds were found. The fragment contribution of PLS-generated models confirmed the results of previous QSAR studies that the presence of α,β-unsatured carbonyl groups is fundamental to biological activity. QSAR models for the activity of these compounds against T. cruzi, L. donovani and P. falciparum are reported here for the first time. The constructed HQSAR models are suitable to predict the activity of untested STLs. Full article
Open AccessArticle In Vivo Anti-Trypanosoma cruzi Activity of Hydro-Ethanolic Extract and Isolated Active Principles from Aristeguietia glutinosa and Mechanism of Action Studies
Molecules 2014, 19(6), 8488-8502; doi:10.3390/molecules19068488
Received: 16 March 2014 / Revised: 20 May 2014 / Accepted: 5 June 2014 / Published: 23 June 2014
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Abstract
The currently available treatments for Chagas disease show limited therapeutic potential and are associated with serious side effects. Attempting to find alternative drugs isolated from Nature as agents against Trypanosoma cruzi has been our goal. Recently, we have demonstrated the in [...] Read more.
The currently available treatments for Chagas disease show limited therapeutic potential and are associated with serious side effects. Attempting to find alternative drugs isolated from Nature as agents against Trypanosoma cruzi has been our goal. Recently, we have demonstrated the in vitro anti-T. cruzi activities of two secondary metabolites isolated from the hydro-ethanolic extract of the aerial parts of Aristeguietia glutinosa (Lam.), (family Asteraceae). These active principles displayed poor hemolytic activity, low toxicity against murine macrophages, and absence of mutagenicity. Herein, proof of concept in vivo studies of the whole hydro-ethanolic extract of the aerial parts of Aristeguietia glutinosa and of the most active component isolated from the hydro-ethanolic extract, i.e., (+)-15-hydroxy-7-labden-17-al, was done in a murine acute model of Chagas disease. Both treatments caused a decrease in the animals’ parasitemia. Metabolomic mechanism of action studies were done by 1H-NMR, both on the extract and on the active compounds, examining the effects of the metabolites both on membrane sterol biosynthesis and mitochondrial dehydrogenases, whereby we found that one of the metabolites inhibited the activity of the parasite mitochondrial dehydrogenases and the other inhibited the biosynthesis of parasite membrane sterols. The results are interesting in the context of popular use of plants for the treatment of Chagas disease. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Properties for Sourcing Nigerian Larvicidal Plants
Molecules 2014, 19(6), 8363-8372; doi:10.3390/molecules19068363
Received: 16 April 2014 / Revised: 12 June 2014 / Accepted: 13 June 2014 / Published: 19 June 2014
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Abstract
Aedes aegypti is the primary vector of chikungunya, yellow and dengue fevers. Dengue fever is the major cause of child morbidity and hospitalisation in some Asian and African countries, while yellow fever is prevalent in Nigeria. The development of resistance to the [...] Read more.
Aedes aegypti is the primary vector of chikungunya, yellow and dengue fevers. Dengue fever is the major cause of child morbidity and hospitalisation in some Asian and African countries, while yellow fever is prevalent in Nigeria. The development of resistance to the available insecticides has necessitated the continued search for safer ones from plants. Eighteen plant extracts with ethnomedical claims of or demonstrated febrifuge, antimalarial, insecticidal and insect repellent biological activities were tested for activity against the fourth instar larvae of Aedes aegypti. About 61% of the eighteen extracts demonstrated high to moderate larvicidal activity. Extracts of Piper nigrum and Abrus precatorius seeds were the most active and the larvicidal constituent(s) of the latter should be determined. Full article
Open AccessReview Natural Products as Source of Potential Dengue Antivirals
Molecules 2014, 19(6), 8151-8176; doi:10.3390/molecules19068151
Received: 14 March 2014 / Revised: 4 June 2014 / Accepted: 5 June 2014 / Published: 17 June 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (450 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
Dengue is a neglected disease responsible for 22,000 deaths each year in areas where it is endemic. To date, there is no clinically approved dengue vaccine or antiviral for human beings, even though there have been great efforts to accomplish these goals. [...] Read more.
Dengue is a neglected disease responsible for 22,000 deaths each year in areas where it is endemic. To date, there is no clinically approved dengue vaccine or antiviral for human beings, even though there have been great efforts to accomplish these goals. Several approaches have been used in the search for dengue antivirals such as screening of compounds against dengue virus enzymes and structure-based computational discovery. During the last decades, researchers have turned their attention to nature, trying to identify compounds that can be used as dengue antivirals. Nature represents a vast reservoir of substances that can be explored with the aim of discovering new leads that can be either used directly as pharmaceuticals or can serve as lead structures that can be optimized towards the development of new antiviral agents against dengue. In this review we describe an assortment of natural products that have been reported as possessing dengue antiviral activity. The natural products are organized into classes of substances. When appropriate, structure-activity relationships are outlined. The biological assays used to assess antiviral activity are briefly described. Full article
Open AccessArticle Secondary Metabolites from Vietnamese Marine Invertebrates with Activity against Trypanosoma brucei and T. cruzi
Molecules 2014, 19(6), 7869-7880; doi:10.3390/molecules19067869
Received: 4 April 2014 / Revised: 5 June 2014 / Accepted: 5 June 2014 / Published: 11 June 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1457 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Marine-derived natural products from invertebrates comprise an extremely diverse and promising source of the compounds from a wide variety of structural classes. This study describes the discovery of five marine natural products with activity against Trypanosoma species by natural product library screening [...] Read more.
Marine-derived natural products from invertebrates comprise an extremely diverse and promising source of the compounds from a wide variety of structural classes. This study describes the discovery of five marine natural products with activity against Trypanosoma species by natural product library screening using whole cell in vitro assays. We investigated the anti-trypanosomal activity of the extracts from the soft corals and echinoderms living in Vietnamese seas. Of the samples screened, the methanolic extracts of several marine organisms exhibited potent activities against cultures of Trypanosoma brucei and T. cruzi (EC50 < 5.0 μg/mL). Among the compounds isolated from these extracts, laevigatol B (1) from Lobophytum crassum and L. laevigatum, (24S)-ergost-4-ene-3-one (2) from Sinularia dissecta, astropectenol A (3) from Astropecten polyacanthus, and cholest-8-ene-3β,5α,6β,7α-tetraol (4) from Diadema savignyi showed inhibitory activity against T. brucei with EC50 values ranging from 1.57 ± 0.14 to 14.6 ± 1.36 μM, relative to the positive control, pentamidine (EC50 = 0.015 ± 0.003 μM). Laevigatol B (1) and 5α-cholest-8(14)-ene-3β,7α-diol (5) exhibited also significant inhibitory effects on T. cruzi. The cytotoxic activity of the pure compounds on mammalian cells was also assessed and found to be insignificant in all cases. This is the first report on the inhibitory effects of marine organisms collected in Vietnamese seas against Trypanosoma species responsible for neglected tropical diseases. Full article
Open AccessArticle Antiprotozoal Activity of Achillea ptarmica (Asteraceae) and Its Main Alkamide Constituents
Molecules 2014, 19(5), 6428-6438; doi:10.3390/molecules19056428
Received: 17 March 2014 / Revised: 14 May 2014 / Accepted: 15 May 2014 / Published: 20 May 2014
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Abstract
In the course of our ongoing screening of plants of the family Asteraceae for antiprotozoal activity, a CH2Cl2-extract from the flowering aerial parts of Achillea ptarmica L. (sneezewort yarrow) was found to be active in vitro against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (IC50 = [...] Read more.
In the course of our ongoing screening of plants of the family Asteraceae for antiprotozoal activity, a CH2Cl2-extract from the flowering aerial parts of Achillea ptarmica L. (sneezewort yarrow) was found to be active in vitro against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (IC50 = 0.67 µg/mL) and Plasmodium falciparum (IC50 = 6.6 μg/mL). Bioassay guided fractionation led to the isolation and identification of five alkamides from the most active fractions. Pellitorine and 8,9-Z-dehyropellitorine are the main components of the extract. Beside these olefinic acid amides, four alkamides with diene-diyne structures were isolated. All alkamides were tested for antiprotozoal activity in vitro. Pellitorine was the most active compound so far within this study against P. falciparum (IC50 = 3.3 µg/mL), while 8,9-Z-dehydropellitorine was most active against T. b. rhodesiense (IC50 = 2.0 µg/mL). The activity of pure pellitorine against Plasmodium is higher than that of the crude extract and thus explains the activity of the latter. None of the isolated alkamides, however, was as active against T. b. rhodesiense as the crude extract whose antitrypanosomal activity must therfore be due to a synergistic effect of the isolated compounds or to more active yet to be identified constituents. Full article
Open AccessArticle Antiprotozoal Activity of Buxus sempervirens and Activity-Guided Isolation of O-tigloylcyclovirobuxeine-B as the Main Constituent Active against Plasmodium falciparum
Molecules 2014, 19(5), 6184-6201; doi:10.3390/molecules19056184
Received: 14 March 2014 / Revised: 9 May 2014 / Accepted: 12 May 2014 / Published: 15 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (895 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Buxus sempervirens L. (European Box, Buxaceae) has been used in ethnomedicine to treat malaria. In the course of our screening of plant extracts for antiprotozoal activity, a CH2Cl2 extract from leaves of B. sempervirens showed selective in vitro activity [...] Read more.
Buxus sempervirens L. (European Box, Buxaceae) has been used in ethnomedicine to treat malaria. In the course of our screening of plant extracts for antiprotozoal activity, a CH2Cl2 extract from leaves of B. sempervirens showed selective in vitro activity against Plasmodium falciparum (IC50 = 2.79 vs. 20.2 µg/mL for cytotoxicity against L6 rat cells). Separation of the extract by acid/base extraction into a basic and a neutral non-polar fraction led to a much more active and even more selective fraction with alkaloids while the fraction of non-polar neutral constituents was markedly less active than the crude extract. Thus, the activity of the crude extract could clearly be attributed to alkaloid constituents. Identification of the main triterpene-alkaloids and characterization of the complex pattern of this alkaloid fraction was performed by UHPLC/+ESI-QTOF-MS analyses. ESI-MS/MS target-guided larger scale preparative separation of the alkaloid fraction was performed by ‘spiral coil-countercurrent chromatography’. From the most active subfraction, the cycloartane alkaloid O-tigloylcyclovirobuxeine-B was isolated and evaluated for antiplasmodial activity which yielded an IC50 of 0.455 µg/mL (cytotoxicity against L6 rat cells: IC50 = 9.38 µg/mL). O-tigloylcyclovirobuxeine-B is thus most significantly responsible for the high potency of the crude extract. Full article
Open AccessArticle In Vitro Leishmanicidal Activities of Sesquiterpene Lactones from Tithonia diversifolia against Leishmania braziliensis Promastigotes and Amastigotes
Molecules 2014, 19(5), 6070-6079; doi:10.3390/molecules19056070
Received: 20 March 2014 / Revised: 9 May 2014 / Accepted: 12 May 2014 / Published: 14 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (739 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Natural compounds represent a rich and promising source of novel, biologically active chemical entities for treating leishmaniasis. Sesquiterpene lactones are a recognized class of terpenoids with a wide spectrum of biological activities, including activity against Leishmania spp. In this work, a sesquiterpene [...] Read more.
Natural compounds represent a rich and promising source of novel, biologically active chemical entities for treating leishmaniasis. Sesquiterpene lactones are a recognized class of terpenoids with a wide spectrum of biological activities, including activity against Leishmania spp. In this work, a sesquiterpene lactone-rich preparation—a leaf rinse extract (LRE) from Tithonia diversifolia—was tested against promastigote forms of L. braziliensis. The results revealed that the LRE is a rich source of potent leishmanicidal compounds, with an LD50 value 1.5 ± 0.50 µg·mL−1. Therefore, eight sesquiterpene lactones from the LRE were initially investigated against promastigote forms of L. braziliensis. One of them did not present any significant leishmanicidal effect (LD50 > 50 µg·mL−1). Another had a cytotoxic effect against macrophages (4.5 µg·mL−1). The five leishmanicidal compounds with the highest level of selectivity were further evaluated against intracellular parasites (amastigotes) using peritoneal macrophages. Tirotundin 3-O-methyl ether, tagitinin F, and a guaianolide reduced the internalization of parasites after 48 h, in comparison with the negative control. This is the first report on sesquiterpene lactones that have potent leishmanicidal effects on both developmental stages of L. braziliensis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Leishmanicidal Evaluation of Tetrahydroprotoberberine and Spirocyclic Erythrina-Alkaloids
Molecules 2014, 19(5), 5692-5703; doi:10.3390/molecules19055692
Received: 15 March 2014 / Revised: 22 April 2014 / Accepted: 25 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Leishmaniasis is one of the World’s most problematic diseases in developing countries. Traditional medicines to treat leishmaniasis have serious side effects, as well as significant parasite resistance problems. In this work, two alkaloids 1 and 2 were obtained from Corydalis govaniana Wall [...] Read more.
Leishmaniasis is one of the World’s most problematic diseases in developing countries. Traditional medicines to treat leishmaniasis have serious side effects, as well as significant parasite resistance problems. In this work, two alkaloids 1 and 2 were obtained from Corydalis govaniana Wall and seven alkaloids 39, were obtained from Erythrina verna. The structures of the compounds were confirmed by mass spectrometry and 1D- and 2D-NMR spectroscopy. The leishmanicidal activity of compounds 19 against Leishmania amazonensis was tested on promastigote forms and cytotoxicity against J774 (macrophage cell line) was assessed in vitro. Compound 1 showed potent activity (IC50 = 0.18 µg/mL), compared with the standard amphotericin B (IC50 = 0.20 µg/mL). The spirocyclic erythrina-alkaloids showed lower leishmanicidal activity than dibenzoquinolizine type alkaloids. Full article
Open AccessArticle Antiparasitic Activity of Natural and Semi-Synthetic Tirucallane Triterpenoids from Schinus terebinthifolius (Anacardiaceae): Structure/Activity Relationships
Molecules 2014, 19(5), 5761-5776; doi:10.3390/molecules19055761
Received: 12 March 2014 / Revised: 26 April 2014 / Accepted: 28 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (316 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Leishmaniasis and Chagas are diseases caused by parasitic protozoans that affect the poorest population in the World, causing a high mortality and morbidity. As a result of highly toxic and long-term treatments, the discovery of novel, safe and more efficacious drugs is [...] Read more.
Leishmaniasis and Chagas are diseases caused by parasitic protozoans that affect the poorest population in the World, causing a high mortality and morbidity. As a result of highly toxic and long-term treatments, the discovery of novel, safe and more efficacious drugs is essential. In this work, the in vitro antiparasitic activity and mammalian cytotoxicity of three natural tirucallane triterpenoids, isolated from leaves of Schinus terebinthifolius (Anacardiaceae), and nine semi-synthetic derivatives were investigated against Leishmania (L.) infantum and Trypanosoma cruzi. Trypomastigotes of T. cruzi were the most susceptible parasites and seven compounds demonstrated a trypanocidal activity with IC50 values in the range between 15 and 58 µg/mL. Four compounds demonstrated selectivity towards the intracellular amastigotes of Leishmania, with IC50 values in the range between 28 and 97 µg/mL. The complete characterization of triterpenoids was afforded after thorough analysis of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) data as well as electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Additionally, structure-activity relationships were performed using Decision Trees. Full article
Open AccessArticle In-Silico Analyses of Sesquiterpene-Related Compounds on Selected Leishmania Enzyme-Based Targets
Molecules 2014, 19(5), 5550-5569; doi:10.3390/molecules19055550
Received: 17 March 2014 / Revised: 14 April 2014 / Accepted: 22 April 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
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Abstract
A great number of sesquiterpenes are reported in the available literature as good antileishmanial leads. However, their mode of action at the molecular level has not been elucidated. The lack of molecular studies could be considered an impediment for studies seeking to [...] Read more.
A great number of sesquiterpenes are reported in the available literature as good antileishmanial leads. However, their mode of action at the molecular level has not been elucidated. The lack of molecular studies could be considered an impediment for studies seeking to improve sesquiterpene-based drug design. The present in silico study allows us to make important observations about the molecular details of the binding modes of a set of antileishmanial sesquiterpenes against four drug-enzyme targets [pteridine reductase-1 (PTR1), N-myristoyl transferase (NMT), cysteine synthase (CS), trypanothione synthetase (TryS)]. Through molecular docking it was found that two sesquiterpene coumarins are promising leads for the PTR1 and TryS inhibition purposes, and some xanthanolides also exhibited better affinity towards PTR1 and CS binding. In addition, the affinity values were clustered by Principal Component Analysis and drug-like properties were analyzed for the strongest-docking sesquiterpenes. The results are an excellent starting point for future studies of structural optimization of this kind of compounds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Two Trypanocidal Dipeptides from the Roots of Zapoteca portoricensis (Fabaceae)
Molecules 2014, 19(5), 5470-5477; doi:10.3390/molecules19055470
Received: 18 March 2014 / Revised: 21 April 2014 / Accepted: 22 April 2014 / Published: 25 April 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (218 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Zapoteca portoricensis (Jacq) HM Hernández is used with remarkable efficacy in ethnomedicinal management of tonsillitis in the Eastern part of Nigeria. Previous pharmacological studies have validated the antiinflammatory and antimicrobial activities of the crude extract. In this study, two dipeptides, saropeptate (aurantiamide [...] Read more.
Zapoteca portoricensis (Jacq) HM Hernández is used with remarkable efficacy in ethnomedicinal management of tonsillitis in the Eastern part of Nigeria. Previous pharmacological studies have validated the antiinflammatory and antimicrobial activities of the crude extract. In this study, two dipeptides, saropeptate (aurantiamide acetate) and anabellamide, were isolated from the methanol root extract of Zapoteca portoricensis and their chemical structures deduced by one dimensional and two dimensional NMR and mass spectrometry. These compounds were isolated for the first time from this plant, and no report has been found on their previous isolation from the genus Zapoteca. Evaluation of their trypanocidal activity showed that compound 1 exhibited potent activity against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense with an IC50 value of 3.63 μM and selectivity index of 25.3. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Benzoic Acid Derivative and Flavokawains from Piper species as Schistosomiasis Vector Controls
Molecules 2014, 19(4), 5205-5218; doi:10.3390/molecules19045205
Received: 11 March 2014 / Revised: 11 April 2014 / Accepted: 15 April 2014 / Published: 23 April 2014
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Abstract
The search of alternative compounds to control tropical diseases such as schistosomiasis has pointed to secondary metabolites derived from natural sources. Piper species are candidates in strategies to control the transmission of schistosomiasis due to their production of molluscicidal compounds. A new [...] Read more.
The search of alternative compounds to control tropical diseases such as schistosomiasis has pointed to secondary metabolites derived from natural sources. Piper species are candidates in strategies to control the transmission of schistosomiasis due to their production of molluscicidal compounds. A new benzoic acid derivative and three flavokawains from Piper diospyrifolium, P. cumanense and P. gaudichaudianum displayed significant activities against Biomphalaria glabrata snails. Additionally, “in silico” studies were performed using docking assays and Molecular Interaction Fields to evaluate the physical-chemical differences among the compounds in order to characterize the observed activities of the test compounds against Biomphalaria glabrata snails. Full article
Open AccessArticle Antiprotozoal Activities of Millettia richardiana (Fabaceae) from Madagascar
Molecules 2014, 19(4), 4200-4211; doi:10.3390/molecules19044200
Received: 21 January 2014 / Revised: 18 March 2014 / Accepted: 19 March 2014 / Published: 3 April 2014
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Abstract
With at least 60% of the Millettia species (Fabaceae) being in medicinal use, we found it relevant to assess the potential antiprotozoal and antifungal activities of Millettia richardiana. Water and methanol crude extracts of the stem barks from M. richardiana and the [...] Read more.
With at least 60% of the Millettia species (Fabaceae) being in medicinal use, we found it relevant to assess the potential antiprotozoal and antifungal activities of Millettia richardiana. Water and methanol crude extracts of the stem barks from M. richardiana and the six fractions resulting from the fractionation of the methanol extract were tested. The dichloromethane extracted fraction showed the best in vitro antiprotozoal activities (IC50 = 5.8 μg/mL against Plasmodium falciparum, 11.8 μg/mL against Leishmania donovani and 12.8 μg/mL against Trypanosoma brucei brucei) as well as low cytotoxicity on several cell lines. The phytochemical analysis showed this selected fraction to be rich in terpenoids and alkaloids, which could explain its antiparasitic activity. A phytochemical study revealed the presence of lonchocarpenin, betulinic acid, β-amyrin, lupeol, palmitic acid, linoleic acid and stearic acid, among which betulinic acid and lupeol could be the compounds responsible of these antiprotozoal activities. By contrast, neither the crude extracts nor the fractions showed antifungal activity against Candida. These results confirm the importance of the genus Millettia in Malagasy ethnomedicine, its potential use in antiparasitic therapy, and the interest of developing a sustainable exploitation of this plant. Moreover, both molecules betulinic acid and lupeol appeared as very relevant molecules for their antiprotozoal properties. Full article
Open AccessArticle Antischistosomal Activity of the Terpene Nerolidol
Molecules 2014, 19(3), 3793-3803; doi:10.3390/molecules19033793
Received: 7 January 2014 / Revised: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 19 March 2014 / Published: 24 March 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1080 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease that affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Since the treatment of this disease currently relies on a single drug, praziquantel, new and safe schistosomicidal agents are urgently required. Nerolidol, a sesquiterpene present in the essential [...] Read more.
Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease that affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Since the treatment of this disease currently relies on a single drug, praziquantel, new and safe schistosomicidal agents are urgently required. Nerolidol, a sesquiterpene present in the essential oils of several plants, is found in many foods and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In this study we analysed the in vitro antiparasitic effect of nerolidol on Schistosoma mansoni adult worms. Nerolidol at concentrations of 31.2 and 62.5 μM reduced the worm motor activity and caused the death of all male and female schistosomes, respectively. In addition, confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed morphological alterations on the tegument of worms such as disintegration, sloughing and erosion of the surface, and a correlation between viability and tegumental damage was observed. In conclusion, nerolidol may be a promising lead compound for the development of antischistosomal natural agents. Full article
Open AccessArticle Structure-Activity Relationship Study of Sesquiterpene Lactones and Their Semi-Synthetic Amino Derivatives as Potential Antitrypanosomal Products
Molecules 2014, 19(3), 3523-3538; doi:10.3390/molecules19033523
Received: 12 November 2013 / Revised: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 13 March 2014 / Published: 21 March 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (294 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sesquiterpene lactones (STLs) are natural products that have potent antitrypanosomal activity in vitro and, in the case of cynaropicrin, also reduce parasitemia in the murine model of trypanosomiasis. To explore their structure-antitrypanosomal activity relationships, a set of 34 natural and semi-synthetic STLs [...] Read more.
Sesquiterpene lactones (STLs) are natural products that have potent antitrypanosomal activity in vitro and, in the case of cynaropicrin, also reduce parasitemia in the murine model of trypanosomiasis. To explore their structure-antitrypanosomal activity relationships, a set of 34 natural and semi-synthetic STLs and amino-STLs was tested in vitro against T. b. rhodesiense (which causes East African sleeping sickness) and mammalian cancer cells (rat bone myoblast L6 cells). It was found that the α-methylene-γ-lactone moiety is necessary for both antitrypanosomal effects and cytotoxicity. Antitrypanosomal selectivity is facilitated by 2-(hydroxymethyl)acrylate or 3,4-dihydroxy-2-methylenebutylate side chains, and by the presence of cyclopentenone rings. Semi-synthetic STL amines with morpholino and dimethylamino groups showed improved in vitro activity over the native STLs. The dimethylamino derivative of cynaropicrin was prepared and tested orally in the T. b. rhodesiense acute mouse model, where it showed reduced toxicity over cynaropicrin, but also lost antitrypanosomal activity. Full article
Open AccessArticle Synthetic Fosmidomycin Analogues with Altered Chelating Moieties Do Not Inhibit 1-Deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate Reductoisomerase or Plasmodium falciparum Growth In Vitro
Molecules 2014, 19(2), 2571-2587; doi:10.3390/molecules19022571
Received: 6 February 2014 / Revised: 18 February 2014 / Accepted: 19 February 2014 / Published: 24 February 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (387 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fourteen new fosmidomycin analogues with altered metal chelating groups were prepared and evaluated for inhibition of E. coli Dxr, M. tuberculosis Dxr and the growth of P. falciparum K1 in human erythrocytes. None of the synthesized compounds showed activity against either enzyme [...] Read more.
Fourteen new fosmidomycin analogues with altered metal chelating groups were prepared and evaluated for inhibition of E. coli Dxr, M. tuberculosis Dxr and the growth of P. falciparum K1 in human erythrocytes. None of the synthesized compounds showed activity against either enzyme or the Plasmodia. This study further underlines the importance of the hydroxamate functionality and illustrates that identifying effective alternative bidentate ligands for this target enzyme is challenging. Full article
Open AccessArticle Antileishmanial Lead Structures from Nature: Analysis of Structure-Activity Relationships of a Compound Library Derived from Caffeic Acid Bornyl Ester
Molecules 2014, 19(2), 1394-1410; doi:10.3390/molecules19021394
Received: 23 December 2013 / Revised: 13 January 2014 / Accepted: 13 January 2014 / Published: 27 January 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (451 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bioassay-guided fractionation of a chloroform extract of Valeriana wallichii (V. wallichii) rhizomes lead to the isolation and identification of caffeic acid bornyl ester (1) as the active component against Leishmania major (L. major) promastigotes [...] Read more.
Bioassay-guided fractionation of a chloroform extract of Valeriana wallichii (V. wallichii) rhizomes lead to the isolation and identification of caffeic acid bornyl ester (1) as the active component against Leishmania major (L. major) promastigotes (IC50 = 48.8 µM). To investigate the structure-activity relationship (SAR), a library of compounds based on 1 was synthesized and tested in vitro against L. major and L. donovani promastigotes, and L. major amastigotes. Cytotoxicity was determined using a murine J774.1 cell line and bone marrow derived macrophages (BMDM). Some compounds showed antileishmanial activity in the concentration range of pentamidine and miltefosine which are the standard drugs in use. In the L. major amastigote assay compounds 15, 19 and 20 showed good activity with relatively low cytotoxicity against BMDM, resulting in acceptable selectivity indices. Molecules with adjacent phenolic hydroxyl groups exhibited elevated cytotoxicity against murine cell lines J774.1 and BMDM. The Michael system seems not to be essential for antileishmanial activity. Based on the results compound 27 can be regarded as new lead structure for further structure optimization. Full article

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