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Open AccessArticle

Zebrafish-Based Discovery of Antiseizure Compounds from the North Sea: Isoquinoline Alkaloids TMC-120A and TMC-120B

1
Laboratory for Molecular Biodiscovery, Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49 box 824, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
2
Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Technical University of Denmark, Søltofts Plads, Building 221, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
3
Current affiliation: Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Gaustadalléen 21, 0349 Oslo, Norway
4
Current affiliation: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ullevålsveien 72, 0454 Oslo, Norway
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(11), 607; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17110607
Received: 23 September 2019 / Revised: 19 October 2019 / Accepted: 21 October 2019 / Published: 25 October 2019
There is a high need for the development of new and improved antiseizure drugs (ASDs) to treat epilepsy. Despite the potential of marine natural products (MNPs), the EU marine biodiscovery consortium PharmaSea has made the only effort to date to perform ASD discovery based on large-scale screening of MNPs. To this end, the embryonic zebrafish photomotor response assay and the larval zebrafish pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) model were used to screen MNP extracts for neuroactivity and antiseizure activity, respectively. Here we report the identification of the two known isoquinoline alkaloids TMC-120A and TMC-120B as novel antiseizure compounds, which were isolated by bioactivity-guided purification from the marine-derived fungus Aspergillus insuetus. TMC-120A and TMC-120B were observed to significantly lower PTZ-induced seizures and epileptiform brain activity in the larval zebrafish PTZ seizure model. In addition, their structural analogues TMC-120C, penicisochroman G, and ustusorane B were isolated and also significantly lowered PTZ-induced seizures. Finally, TMC-120A and TMC-120B were investigated in a mouse model of drug-resistant focal seizures. Compound treatment significantly shortened the seizure duration, thereby confirming their antiseizure activity. These data underscore the possibility to translate findings in zebrafish to mice in the field of epilepsy and the potential of the marine environment for ASD discovery. View Full-Text
Keywords: PharmaSea; epilepsy; zebrafish; marine drug discovery; isoquinoline alkaloids; TMC-120A; TMC-120B; TMC-120C; penicisochroman G; ustusorane B PharmaSea; epilepsy; zebrafish; marine drug discovery; isoquinoline alkaloids; TMC-120A; TMC-120B; TMC-120C; penicisochroman G; ustusorane B
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Copmans, D.; Kildgaard, S.; Rasmussen, S.A.; Ślęzak, M.; Dirkx, N.; Partoens, M.; Esguerra, C.V.; Crawford, A.D.; Larsen, T.O.; de Witte, P.A.M. Zebrafish-Based Discovery of Antiseizure Compounds from the North Sea: Isoquinoline Alkaloids TMC-120A and TMC-120B. Mar. Drugs 2019, 17, 607.

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