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Open AccessArticle

(R)-(−)-Aloesaponol III 8-Methyl Ether from Eremurus persicus: A Novel Compound against Leishmaniosis

Department of Drug Sciences, Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology Section, University of Pavia, Viale Taramelli 12, 27100 Pavia, Italy
Department of Science-Chemistry, University of Garmian, Kalar 46021, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) Srl—IRCCS Via Piero Maroncelli, 40, 47014 Meldola (FC), Italy
Dipartimento di Medicina Molecolare e Traslazionale, Università di Brescia, Viale Europa 11, 25123 Brescia, Italy
Centro Grandi Strumenti, University of Pavia, Via Bassi 21, 27100 Pavia, Italy
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Pavia, Via S. Epifanio 14, 27100 Pavia, Italy
CESPU, Instituto de Investigação e Formação Avançada em Ciências e Tecnologias da Saúde, 4585-116 Gandra PRD, Portugal
CIBIO-UP, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Universidade do Porto, InBIO, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra, Pólo das Ciências da Saúde, Azinhaga de Santa Comba, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
CNC—Center for Neurosciences and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Rua Larga Faculty of Medicine, Pólo I, 3004-504 Coimbra, Portugal
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Diego Muñoz-Torrero and Kelly Chibale
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 519;
Received: 15 February 2017 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Drug Discovery Approaches against Infectious Diseases)
Leishmaniosis is a neglected tropical disease which affects several millions of people worldwide. The current drug therapies are expensive and often lack efficacy, mainly due to the development of parasite resistance. Hence, there is an urgent need for new drugs effective against Leishmania infections. As a part of our ongoing study on the phytochemical characterization and biological investigation of plants used in the traditional medicine of western and central Asia, in the present study, we focused on Eremurus persicus root extract in order to evaluate its potential in the treatment of leishmaniosis. As a result of our study, aloesaponol III 8-methyl ether (ASME) was isolated for the first time from Eremurus persicus root extract, its chemical structure elucidated by means of IR and NMR experiments and the (R) configuration assigned by optical activity measurements: chiroptical aspects were investigated with vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) and electronic circular dichroism (ECD) spectroscopies and DFT (density functional theory) quantum mechanical calculations. Concerning biological investigations, our results clearly proved that (R)-ASME inhibits Leishmania infantum promastigotes viability (IC50 73 µg/mL), inducing morphological alterations and mitochondrial potential deregulation. Moreover, it is not toxic on macrophages at the concentration tested, thus representing a promising molecule against Leishmania infections. View Full-Text
Keywords: leishmaniosis; drug identification; Eremurus persicus; plant extract; (R)-aloesaponol III-8 methyl ether leishmaniosis; drug identification; Eremurus persicus; plant extract; (R)-aloesaponol III-8 methyl ether
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Rossi, D.; Ahmed, K.M.; Gaggeri, R.; Della Volpe, S.; Maggi, L.; Mazzeo, G.; Longhi, G.; Abbate, S.; Corana, F.; Martino, E.; Machado, M.; Varandas, R.; Sousa, M.D.C.; Collina, S. (R)-(−)-Aloesaponol III 8-Methyl Ether from Eremurus persicus: A Novel Compound against Leishmaniosis. Molecules 2017, 22, 519.

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