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Molecules 2018, 23(5), 1113;

A 3D-QSAR Study on the Antitrypanosomal and Cytotoxic Activities of Steroid Alkaloids by Comparative Molecular Field Analysis

Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Phytochemistry (IPBP), University of Münster, PharmaCampus Corrensstraße 48, D-48149 Münster, Germany
Department of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State 410001, Nigeria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 4 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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As part of our research for new leads against human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), we report on a 3D-QSAR study for antitrypanosomal activity and cytotoxicity of aminosteroid-type alkaloids recently isolated from the African medicinal plant Holarrhena africana A. DC. (Apocynaceae), some of which are strong trypanocides against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (Tbr), with low toxicity against mammalian cells. Fully optimized 3D molecular models of seventeen congeneric Holarrhena alkaloids were subjected to a comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA). CoMFA models were obtained for both, the anti-Tbr and cytotoxic activity data. Model performance was assessed in terms of statistical characteristics (R2, Q2, and P2 for partial least squares (PLS) regression, internal cross-validation (leave-one-out), and external predictions (test set), respectively, as well as the corresponding standard deviation error in prediction (SDEP) and F-values). With R2 = 0.99, Q2 = 0.83 and P2 = 0.79 for anti-Tbr activity and R2 = 0.94, Q2 = 0.64, P2 = 0.59 for cytotoxicity against L6 rat skeletal myoblasts, both models were of good internal and external predictive power. The regression coefficients of the models representing the most prominent steric and electrostatic effects on anti-Tbr and for L6 cytotoxic activity were translated into contour maps and analyzed visually, allowing suggestions for possible modification of the aminosteroids to further increase the antitrypanosomal potency and selectivity. Very interestingly, the 3D-QSAR model established with the Holarrhena alkaloids also applied to the antitrypanosomal activity of two aminocycloartane-type compounds recently isolated by our group from Buxus sempervirens L. (Buxaceae), which indicates that these structurally similar natural products share a common structure–activity relationship (SAR) and, possibly, mechanism of action with the Holarrhena steroids. This 3D-QSAR study has thus resulted in plausible structural explanations of the antitrypanosomal activity and selectivity of aminosteroid- and aminocycloartane-type alkaloids as an interesting new class of trypanocides and may represent a starting point for lead optimization. View Full-Text
Keywords: aminosteroid; aminocycloartane; alkaloid; 3D-QSAR; CoMFA; antitrypanosomal activity; cytotoxicity aminosteroid; aminocycloartane; alkaloid; 3D-QSAR; CoMFA; antitrypanosomal activity; cytotoxicity

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Nnadi, C.O.; Althaus, J.B.; Nwodo, N.J.; Schmidt, T.J. A 3D-QSAR Study on the Antitrypanosomal and Cytotoxic Activities of Steroid Alkaloids by Comparative Molecular Field Analysis. Molecules 2018, 23, 1113.

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