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Special Issue "Drug Discovery for Neglected Diseases"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Valeria Patricia Sülsen
Website
Guest Editor
Chair of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Buenos Aires
Institute of Drug Chemistry and Metabolism (IQUIMEFA), University of Buenos Aires – National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Junín 956, 1113 Buenos Aires, Argentina
Interests: natural products; sesquiterpene lactones; diterpenes; flavonoids; Asteraceae; antiparasitic activity; antitumor activity; semi-synthetic derivatives
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Albertina Moglioni
Website
Guest Editor
Cátedra de Química Medicinal, Departamento de Farmacología, Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquímica, Universidad de Buenos Aires.
Instituto de Química y Metabolismo del Fármaco (IQUIMEFA) (UBA- CONICET), Junín 956, 1113 Buenos Aires, República Argentina.
Interests: medicinal chemistry; organic synthesis; heterocyclic chemistry; computational chemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Drug Discovery for Neglected Diseases International Congress 2018 (DDNDIC 2018) will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 4–6 December, 2018. This event will be framed in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the creation of the Institute for Drug Chemistry and Metabolism (IQUIMEFA), University of Buenos Aires—National Scientific and Technical Research Council. The 4th Scientific Meeting of the Research Network Natural Products against Neglected Diseases (ResNet NPND) will be carried out together with the DDNDIC 2018. Both events will be held simultaneously at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The aim of this Special Issue is to publish the results presented at the congress, as well as the recent advances made in the field of neglected diseases. The Special Issue of Molecules will be focused on the discovery and development of natural and synthetic drugs for neglected diseases and other diseases having consequences in public health and of high relevance worldwide. Different aspects of parasitic, viral and bacterial diseases, such as Chagas’ disease, African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, dengue and mycetoma, among others will be considered. Vector-borne diseases such as malaria, zika, chikungunya and Argentine hemorrhagic fever will also be included.

Research works dealing with this group of diseases in the areas of natural compounds, drug design, drug synthesis, in vitro and in vivo assays, mechanisms of action, epidemiology and individual and environmental prophylaxis will be considered for publication.

For more details about DDNDIC 18, please click on: http://ddndic.com

Dr. Valeria Sülsen
Dr. Albertina Moglioni
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Neglected tropical diseases
  • Drug discovery
  • Drug design
  • Natural products
  • Epidemiology
  • Prophylaxis

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Published Papers (79 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Trypanocidal Activity of Four Sesquiterpene Lactones Isolated from Asteraceae Species
Molecules 2020, 25(9), 2014; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25092014 - 25 Apr 2020
Abstract
The sesquiterpene lactones eupatoriopicrin, estafietin, eupahakonenin B and minimolide have been isolated from Argentinean Astearaceae species and have been found to be active against Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigotes. The aim of this work was to evaluate the activity of these compounds by analyzing their [...] Read more.
The sesquiterpene lactones eupatoriopicrin, estafietin, eupahakonenin B and minimolide have been isolated from Argentinean Astearaceae species and have been found to be active against Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigotes. The aim of this work was to evaluate the activity of these compounds by analyzing their effect against the stages of the parasites that are infective for the human. Even more interesting, we aimed to determine the effect of the most active and selective compound on an in vivo model of T. cruzi infection. Eupatoriopicrin was the most active against amastigotes and tripomastigotes (IC50 = 2.3 µg/mL, and 7.2 µg/mL, respectively) and displayed a high selectivity index. This compound was selected to study on an in vivo model of T. cruzi infection. The administration of 1 mg/kg/day of eupatoriopicrin for five consecutive days to infected mice produced a significant reduction in the parasitaemia levels in comparison with non-treated animals (area under parasitaemia curves 4.48 vs. 30.47, respectively). Skeletal muscular tissues from eupatopicrin-treated mice displayed only focal and interstitial lymphocyte inflammatory infiltrates and small areas of necrotic; by contrast, skeletal tissues from T. cruzi infected mice treated with the vehicle showed severe lymphocyte inflammatory infiltrates with necrosis of the adjacent myocytes. The results indicate that eupatoriopicrin could be considered a promising candidate for the development of new therapeutic agents for Chagas disease. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Efficacy of Topical Treatment with (−)-Epigallocatechin Gallate, A Green Tea Catechin, in Mice with Cutaneous Leishmaniasis
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1741; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071741 - 10 Apr 2020
Abstract
The treatment of leishmaniasis includes pentavalent antimony drugs but, because of the side effects, toxicity and cases of treatment failure or resistance, the search of new antileishmanial compounds are necessary. The aims of this study were to evaluate and compare the in vitro [...] Read more.
The treatment of leishmaniasis includes pentavalent antimony drugs but, because of the side effects, toxicity and cases of treatment failure or resistance, the search of new antileishmanial compounds are necessary. The aims of this study were to evaluate and compare the in vitro antileishmanial activity of four green tea catechins, and to assess the efficacy of topical (−)-epigallocatechin gallate in a cutaneous leishmaniasis model. The antileishmanial activity of green tea catechins was evaluated against intracellular amastigotes, and cytotoxicity was performed with human monocytic cell line. BALB/c mice were infected in the ear dermis with Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis and treated with topical 15% (−)-epigallocatechin gallate, intraperitoneal Glucantime, and control group. The efficacy of treatments was evaluated by quantifying the parasite burden and by measuring the lesions size. (−)-Epigallocatechin gallate and (−)-epigallocatechin were the most active compounds with IC50 values <59.6 µg/mL and with a selectivity index >1. Topical treatment with (−)-epigallocatechin gallate decreased significantly both lesion size and parasite burden (80.4% inhibition) compared to control group (p < 0.05), and moreover (−)-epigallocatechin gallate showed a similar efficacy to Glucantime (85.1% inhibition), the reference drug for leishmaniasis treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Discovery for Neglected Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Antiprotozoal Activity of Turkish Origanum onites Essential Oil and Its Components
Molecules 2019, 24(23), 4421; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24234421 - 03 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Essential oil of Origanum species is well known for antimicrobial activity, but only a few have been evaluated in narrow spectrum antiprotozoal assays. Herein, we assessed the antiprotozoal potential of Turkish Origanum onites L. oil and its major constituents against a panel of [...] Read more.
Essential oil of Origanum species is well known for antimicrobial activity, but only a few have been evaluated in narrow spectrum antiprotozoal assays. Herein, we assessed the antiprotozoal potential of Turkish Origanum onites L. oil and its major constituents against a panel of parasitic protozoa. The essential oil was obtained by hydrodistillation from the dried herbal parts of O. onites and analyzed by Gas Chromatography-Flame Ionization Detector (GC-FID) and Gas Chromatography coupled with Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). The in vitro activity of the oil and its major components were evaluated against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, T. cruzi, Leishmania donovani, and Plasmodium falciparum. The main component of the oil was identified as carvacrol (70.6%), followed by linalool (9.7%), p-cymene (7%), γ-terpinene (2.1%), and thymol (1.8%). The oil showed significant in vitro activity against T. b. rhodesiense (IC50 180 ng/mL), and moderate antileishmanial and antiplasmodial effects, without toxicity to mammalian cells. Carvacrol, thymol, and 10 additional abundant oil constituents were tested against the same panel; carvacrol and thymol retained the oil’s in vitro antiparasitic potency. In the T. b. brucei mouse model, thymol, but not carvacrol, extended the mean survival of animals. This study indicates the potential of the essential oil of O. onites and its constituents in the treatment of protozoal infections. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bixa orellana L. (Bixaceae) and Dysphania ambrosioides (L.) Mosyakin & Clemants (Amaranthaceae) Essential Oils Formulated in Nanocochleates against Leishmania amazonensis
Molecules 2019, 24(23), 4222; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24234222 - 20 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Leishmaniasis is a group of neglected tropical diseases caused by protozoan parasites of the Leishmania genus. The absence of effective vaccines and the limitations of current treatments make the search for effective therapies a real need. Different plant-derived essential oils (EOs) have shown [...] Read more.
Leishmaniasis is a group of neglected tropical diseases caused by protozoan parasites of the Leishmania genus. The absence of effective vaccines and the limitations of current treatments make the search for effective therapies a real need. Different plant-derived essential oils (EOs) have shown antileishmanial effects, in particular from Bixa orellana L. (EO-Bo) and Dysphania ambrosioides (L.) Mosyakin & Clemants (EO-Da). In the present study, the EO-Bo and EO-Da, formulated in nanocochleates (EO-Bo-NC and EO-Da-NC, respectively), were evaluated in vitro and in vivo against L. amazonensis. The EO-Bo-NC and EO-Da-NC did not increase the in vitro inhibitory activity of the EOs, although the EO-Bo-NC showed reduced cytotoxic effects. In the animal model, both formulations (30 mg/kg/intralesional route/every 4 days/4 times) showed no deaths or weight loss greater than 10%. In the animal (mouse) model, EO-Bo-NC contributed to the control of infection (p < 0.05) in comparison with EO-Bo treatment, while the mice treated with EO-Da-NC exhibited larger lesions (p < 0.05) compared to those treated with EO-Da. The enhanced in vivo activity observed for EO-Bo-NC suggests that lipid-based nanoformulations like nanocochleates should be explored for their potential in the proper delivery of drugs, and in particular, the delivery of hydrophobic materials for effective cutaneous leishmaniasis treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Discovery for Neglected Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
A Nature-Inspired Design Yields a New Class of Steroids Against Trypanosomatids
Molecules 2019, 24(20), 3800; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24203800 - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Chagas disease and Leishmaniasis are neglected endemic protozoan diseases recognized as public health problems by the World Health Organization. These diseases affect millions of people around the world however, efficient and low-cost treatments are not available. Different steroid molecules with antimicrobial and antiparasitic [...] Read more.
Chagas disease and Leishmaniasis are neglected endemic protozoan diseases recognized as public health problems by the World Health Organization. These diseases affect millions of people around the world however, efficient and low-cost treatments are not available. Different steroid molecules with antimicrobial and antiparasitic activity were isolated from diverse organisms (ticks, plants, fungi). These molecules have complex structures that make de novo synthesis extremely difficult. In this work, we designed new and simpler compounds with antiparasitic potential inspired in natural steroids and synthesized a series of nineteen steroidal arylideneketones and thiazolidenehydrazines. We explored their biological activity against Leishmania infantum, Leishmania amazonensis, and Trypanosoma cruzi in vitro and in vivo. We also assayed their genotoxicity and acute toxicity in vitro and in mice. The best compound, a steroidal thiosemicarbazone compound 8 (ID_1260) was active in vitro (IC50 200 nM) and in vivo (60% infection reduction at 50 mg/kg) in Leishmania and T. cruzi. It also has low toxicity in vitro and in vivo (LD50 >2000 mg/kg) and no genotoxic effects, being a promising compound for anti-trypanosomatid drug development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Discovery for Neglected Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Larvicidal Compounds Extracted from Helicteres velutina K. Schum (Sterculiaceae) Evaluated against Aedes aegypti L.
Molecules 2019, 24(12), 2315; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24122315 - 22 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Helicteres velutina K. Schum (Sterculiaceae), a member of Malvaceae sensu lato, is a Brazilian endemic plant that has been used by the indigenous tribe Pankarare as an insect repellent. A previous study has reported the isolation of terpenoids, flavonoids and pheophytins, in [...] Read more.
Helicteres velutina K. Schum (Sterculiaceae), a member of Malvaceae sensu lato, is a Brazilian endemic plant that has been used by the indigenous tribe Pankarare as an insect repellent. A previous study has reported the isolation of terpenoids, flavonoids and pheophytins, in addition to the larvicidal activity of crude H. velutina extracts derived from the aerial components (leaves, branches/twigs, and flowers). The present study reports the biomonitoring of the effects of fractions and isolated compounds derived from H. velutina against A. aegypti fourth instar larvae. A crude ethanol extract was submitted to liquid–liquid extraction with hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate and n-butanol to obtain their respective fractions. Larvicidal evaluations of the fractions were performed, and the hexane and dichloromethane fractions exhibited greater activities than the other fractions, with LC50 (50% lethal concentration) values of 3.88 and 5.80 mg/mL, respectively. The phytochemical study of these fractions resulted in the isolation and identification of 17 compounds. The molecules were subjected to a virtual screening protocol, and five molecules presented potential larvicidal activity after analyses of their applicability domains. When molecular docking was analysed, only three of these compounds showed an ability to bind with sterol carrier protein-2 (1PZ4), a protein found in the larval intestine. The compounds tiliroside and 7,4′-di-O-methyl-8-O-sulphate flavone showed in vitro larvicidal activity, with LC50 values of 0.275 mg/mL after 72 h and 0.182 mg/mL after 24 h of exposure, respectively. This is the first study to demonstrate the larvicidal activity of sulphated flavonoids against A. aegypti. Our results showed that the presence of the OSO3H group attached to C-8 of the flavonoid was crucial to the larvicidal activity. This research supports the traditional use of H. velutina as an alternative insecticide for the control of A. aegypti, which is a vector for severe arboviruses, such as dengue and chikungunya. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Discovery for Neglected Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Composition, Antimicrobial and Antiparasitic Screening of the Essential Oil from Phania matricarioides (Spreng.) Griseb.
Molecules 2019, 24(8), 1615; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24081615 - 24 Apr 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Essential oils (EOs) have gained increasing attention due to their pharmacological effectiveness, and they also constitute some of the most popular natural products. In this study, we present the chemical characterization of the EO from Phania matricarioides and the in vitro activity/selectivity against [...] Read more.
Essential oils (EOs) have gained increasing attention due to their pharmacological effectiveness, and they also constitute some of the most popular natural products. In this study, we present the chemical characterization of the EO from Phania matricarioides and the in vitro activity/selectivity against a wide panel of bacteria, fungi and parasitic protozoa. Forty-five compounds were identified in the studied EO, of which lavandulyl acetate (40.1%) and thymyl isobutyrate (13.9%) were the major components. The EO did not inhibit bacterial or fungal growth at the maximum concentration tested (64 µg/mL), although it displayed activity on all evaluated protozoa (IC50 values ranging from 2.2 to 56.6 µg/mL). In parallel, the EO demonstrated a noteworthy cytotoxic activity against peritoneal macrophages (CC50 values of 28.0 µg/mL). The most sensitive microorganism was Trypanosoma cruzi, which had a superior activity (IC50 = 2.2 µg/mL) and selectivity (SI = 13) in respect to other parasitic protozoa and the reference drug (p < 0.05). Further in vivo studies are needed to evaluate the potential use of this EO and the main compounds as antitrypanosomal agents. To our knowledge, this is the first report of chemical characterization and antimicrobial assessment of the EO from P. matricarioides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Discovery for Neglected Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Constituents of Anacardium occidentale as Inhibitors of Trypanosoma cruzi Sirtuins
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1299; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071299 - 03 Apr 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Benznidazole and nifurtimox, the only drugs available for the treatment of Chagas disease, have limited efficacy and have been associated with severe adverse side effects. Thus, there is an urgent need to find new biotargets for the identification of novel bioactive compounds against [...] Read more.
Benznidazole and nifurtimox, the only drugs available for the treatment of Chagas disease, have limited efficacy and have been associated with severe adverse side effects. Thus, there is an urgent need to find new biotargets for the identification of novel bioactive compounds against the parasite and with low toxicity. Silent information regulator 2 (Sir2) enzymes, or sirtuins, have emerged as attractive targets for the development of novel antitrypanosomatid agents. In the present work, we evaluated the inhibitory effect of natural compounds isolated from cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale, L. Anacardiaceae) against the target enzymes TcSir2rp1 and TcSir2rp3 as well as the parasite. Two derivates of cardol (1, 2), cardanol (3, 4), and anacardic acid (5, 6) were investigated. The two anacardic acids (5, 6) inhibited both TcSir2rp1 and TcSir2rp3, while the cardol compound (2) inhibited only TcSir2rp1. The most potent sirtuin inhibitor active against the parasite was the cardol compound (2), with an EC50 value of 12.25 µM, similar to that of benznidazole. Additionally, compounds (1, 4), which were inactive against the sirtuin targets, presented anti-T. cruzi effects. In conclusion, our results showed the potential of Anacardium occidentale compounds for the development of potential sirtuin inhibitors and anti-Trypanosoma cruzi agents. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
In-Vitro Evaluation of 52 Commercially-Available Essential Oils Against Leishmania amazonensis
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1248; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071248 - 30 Mar 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Leishmaniasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by members of the Leishmania genus of parasitic protozoa that cause different clinical manifestations of the disease. Current treatment options for the cutaneous disease are limited due to severe side effects, poor efficacy, limited availability or [...] Read more.
Leishmaniasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by members of the Leishmania genus of parasitic protozoa that cause different clinical manifestations of the disease. Current treatment options for the cutaneous disease are limited due to severe side effects, poor efficacy, limited availability or accessibility, and developing resistance. Essential oils may provide low cost and readily available treatment options for leishmaniasis. In-vitro screening of a collection of 52 commercially available essential oils has been carried out against promastigotes of Leishmania amazonensis. In addition, cytotoxicity has been determined for the essential oils against mouse peritoneal macrophages in order to determine selectivity. Promising essential oils were further screened against intracellular L. amazonensis amastigotes. Three essential oils showed notable antileishmanial activities: frankincense (Boswellia spp.), coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.), and wintergreen (Gualtheria fragrantissima Wall.) with IC50 values against the amastigotes of 22.1 ± 4.2, 19.1 ± 0.7, and 22.2 ± 3.5 μg/mL and a selectivity of 2, 7, and 6, respectively. These essential oils could be explored as topical treatment options for cutaneous leishmaniasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Discovery for Neglected Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Activity of Estafietin and Analogues on Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania braziliensis
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1209; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071209 - 28 Mar 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Sesquiterpene lactones are naturally occurring compounds mainly found in the Asteraceae family. These types of plant metabolites display a wide range of biological activities, including antiprotozoal activity and are considered interesting structures for drug discovery. Four derivatives were synthesized from estafietin (1 [...] Read more.
Sesquiterpene lactones are naturally occurring compounds mainly found in the Asteraceae family. These types of plant metabolites display a wide range of biological activities, including antiprotozoal activity and are considered interesting structures for drug discovery. Four derivatives were synthesized from estafietin (1), isolated from Stevia alpina (Asteraceae): 11βH,13-dihydroestafietin (2), epoxyestafietin (3a and 3b), 11βH,13-methoxyestafietin, (4) and 11βH,13-cianoestafietin. The antiprotozoal activity against Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania braziliensis of these compounds was evaluated. Epoxyestafietin was the most active compound against T. cruzi trypomastigotes and amastigotes (IC50 values of 18.7 and 2.0 µg/mL, respectively). Estafietin (1) and 11βH,13-dihydroestafietin (2) were the most active and selective compounds on L. braziliensis promastigotes (IC50 values of 1.0 and 1.3 μg/mL, respectively). The antiparasitic activity demonstrated by estafietin and some of its derivatives make them promising candidates for the development of effective compounds for the treatment of Chagas disease and leihsmaniasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Discovery for Neglected Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Antitrypanosomal Activity of Sesquiterpene Lactones from Helianthus tuberosus L. Including a New Furanoheliangolide with an Unusual Structure
Molecules 2019, 24(6), 1068; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24061068 - 18 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
As part of our efforts to exploit the antitrypanosomal potential of sesquiterpene lactones (STL) from Helianthus tuberosus L. (Asteraceae), besides the known 4,15-iso-atriplicolide tiglate, -methacrylate and -isobutyrate, a hitherto unknown STL was isolated. Its structure was solved by extensive NMR measurements [...] Read more.
As part of our efforts to exploit the antitrypanosomal potential of sesquiterpene lactones (STL) from Helianthus tuberosus L. (Asteraceae), besides the known 4,15-iso-atriplicolide tiglate, -methacrylate and -isobutyrate, a hitherto unknown STL was isolated. Its structure was solved by extensive NMR measurements and confirmed by single crystal X-ray crystallography. This novel compound is a structural analog 4,15-iso-atriplicolide tiglate that possesses the same basic furanoheliangolide skeleton but differs in the position of the oxo function which is at C-2 instead of C-1, as well as in the fact that the oxygen atom of the furanoid ring is part of a hemiketal structure at C-3 and a double bond between C-5 and C-6. For this new STL we propose the name heliantuberolide-8-O-tiglate. Its activity against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (causative agent of East African Human Typanosomiasis, Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas Disease), Leishmania donovani (Visceral Leishmaniasis) and Plasmodium falciparum (Tropical Malaria) as well as cytotoxicity against rat skeletal myoblasts (L6 cell line) was determined along with those of the hitherto untested 4,15-iso-atriplicolide methacrylate and isobutyrate. In comparison with the iso-atriplicolide esters, the new compound showed a much lower level of bioactivity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antileishmanial Activity of Dimeric Flavonoids Isolated from Arrabidaea brachypoda
Molecules 2019, 24(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24010001 - 20 Dec 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Leishmaniasis are diseases caused by parasites belonging to Leishmania genus. The treatment with pentavalent antimonials present high toxicity. Secondary line drugs, such as amphotericin B and miltefosine also have a narrow therapeutic index. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop new drugs [...] Read more.
Leishmaniasis are diseases caused by parasites belonging to Leishmania genus. The treatment with pentavalent antimonials present high toxicity. Secondary line drugs, such as amphotericin B and miltefosine also have a narrow therapeutic index. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop new drugs to treat leishmaniasis. Here, we present the in vitro anti-leishmanial activity of unusual dimeric flavonoids purified from Arrabidaea brachypoda. Three compounds were tested against Leishmana sp. Compound 2 was the most active against promastigotes. Quantifying the in vitro infected macrophages revealed that compound 2 was also the most active against intracellular amastigotes of L. amazonensis, without displaying host cell toxicity. Drug combinations presented an additive effect, suggesting the absence of interaction between amphotericin B and compound 2. Amastigotes treated with compound 2 demonstrated alterations in the Golgi and accumulation of vesicles inside the flagellar pocket. Compound 2-treated amastigotes presented a high accumulation of cytoplasmic vesicles and a myelin-like structure. When administered in L. amazonensis-infected mice, neither the oral nor the topical treatments were effective against the parasite. Based on the high in vitro activity, dimeric flavonoids can be used as a lead structure for the development of new molecules that could be useful for structure-active studies against Leishmania. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Discovery of Non-Peptidic Compounds against Chagas Disease Applying Pharmacophore Guided Molecular Modelling Approaches
Molecules 2018, 23(12), 3054; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23123054 - 22 Nov 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Chagas disease is one of the primary causes of heart diseases accounting to 50,000 lives annually and is listed as the neglected tropical disease. Because the currently available therapies have greater toxic effects with higher resistance, there is a dire need to develop [...] Read more.
Chagas disease is one of the primary causes of heart diseases accounting to 50,000 lives annually and is listed as the neglected tropical disease. Because the currently available therapies have greater toxic effects with higher resistance, there is a dire need to develop new drugs to combat the disease. In this pursuit, the 3D QSAR ligand-pharmacophore (pharm 1) and receptor-based pharmacophore (pharm 2) search was initiated to retrieve the candidate compounds from universal natural compounds database. The validated models were allowed to map the universal natural compounds database. The obtained lead candidates were subjected to molecular docking against cysteine protease (PDB code: 1ME3) employing -Cdocker available on the discovery studio. Subsequently, two Hits have satisfied the selection criteria and were escalated to molecular dynamics simulation and binding free energy calculations. These Hits have demonstrated higher dock scores, displayed interactions with the key residues portraying an ideal binding mode complemented by mapping to all the features of pharm 1 and pharm 2. Additionally, they have rendered stable root mean square deviation (RMSD) and potential energy profiles illuminating their potentiality as the prospective antichagastic agents. The study further demonstrates the mechanism of inhibition by tetrad residues compromising of Gly23 and Asn70 holding the ligand at each ends and the residues Gly65 and Gly160 clamping the Hits at the center. The notable feature is that the Hits lie in close proximity with the residues Glu66 and Leu67, accommodating within the S1, S2 and S3 subsites. Considering these findings, the study suggests that the Hits may be regarded as effective therapeutics against Chagas disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Discovery for Neglected Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Solvent Extraction and Identification of Active Anticariogenic Metabolites in Piper cubeba L. through 1H-NMR-Based Metabolomics Approach
Molecules 2018, 23(7), 1730; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23071730 - 16 Jul 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the effects of different solvents for extraction, liquid–liquid partition, and concentrations of extracts and fractions of Piper cubeba L. on anticariogenic; antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity against oral bacteria. Furthermore, 1H-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) coupled [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine the effects of different solvents for extraction, liquid–liquid partition, and concentrations of extracts and fractions of Piper cubeba L. on anticariogenic; antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity against oral bacteria. Furthermore, 1H-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) coupled with multivariate data analysis (MVDA) was applied to discriminate between the extracts and fractions and examine the metabolites that correlate to the bioactivities. All tested bacteria were susceptible to Piper cubeba L. extracts and fractions. Different solvents extraction, liquid–liquid partition and concentrations of extracts and fractions have partially influenced the antibacterial activity. MTT assay showed that P. cubeba L. extracts and fractions were not toxic to RAW 264.7 cells at selected concentrations. Anti-inflammatory activity evaluated by nitric oxide (NO) production in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated cells showed a reduction in NO production in cells treated with P. cubeba L. extracts and fractions, compared to those without treatment. Twelve putative metabolites have been identified, which are (1) cubebin, (2) yatein, (3) hinokinin, (4) dihydrocubebin, (5) dihydroclusin, (6) cubebinin, (7) magnosalin, (8) p-cymene, (9) piperidine, (10) cubebol, (11) d-germacrene and (12) ledol. Different extraction and liquid–liquid partition solvents caused separation in principal component analysis (PCA) models. The partial least squares (PLS) models showed that higher anticariogenic activity was related more to the polar solvents, despite some of the active metabolites also present in the non-polar solvents. Hence, P. cubeba L. extracts and fractions exhibited antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity and have potential to be developed as the anticariogenic agent. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antischistosomal Properties of Hederacolchiside A1 Isolated from Pulsatilla chinensis
Molecules 2018, 23(6), 1431; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23061431 - 13 Jun 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Background: Schistosomiasis is a major neglected disease for which the current control strategy involves mass treatment with praziquantel, the only available drug. Hence, there is an urgent need to develop new antischistosomal compounds. Methods: The antischistosomal activity of hederacolchiside A1 (HSA) [...] Read more.
Background: Schistosomiasis is a major neglected disease for which the current control strategy involves mass treatment with praziquantel, the only available drug. Hence, there is an urgent need to develop new antischistosomal compounds. Methods: The antischistosomal activity of hederacolchiside A1 (HSA) were determined by total or female worm burden reductions in mice harboring Schistosoma japonicum or S. mansoni. Pathology parameters were detected on HSA against 1-day-old S. japonicum-harboring mice. Moreover, we confirmed the antischistosomal effect of HSA on newly transformed schistosomula (NTS) of S. japonicum in vitro. Results: HSA, a natural product isolated from Pulsatilla chinensis (Bunge) Regel, was initially corroborated to possess promising antischistosomal properties. We demonstrated that HSA had high activity against S. japonicum and S. mansoni less in 11 days old parasites harbored in mice. The antischistosomal effect was even more than the currently used drugs, praziquantel, and artesunate. Furthermore, HSA could ameliorate the pathology parameters in mice harboring 1-day-old juvenile S. japonicum. We also confirmed that HSA-mediated antischistosomal activity is partly due to the morphological changes in the tegument system when NTS are exposed to HSA. Conclusions: HSA may have great potential to be an antischistosomal agent for further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Discovery for Neglected Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Fargesin on Chemically Induced Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Mice
Molecules 2018, 23(6), 1380; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23061380 - 07 Jun 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Fargesin is a bioactive lignan from Flos Magnoliae, an herb widely used in the treatment of allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, and headache in Asia. We sought to investigate whether fargesin ameliorates experimental inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in mice. Oral administration of fargesin significantly [...] Read more.
Fargesin is a bioactive lignan from Flos Magnoliae, an herb widely used in the treatment of allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, and headache in Asia. We sought to investigate whether fargesin ameliorates experimental inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in mice. Oral administration of fargesin significantly attenuated the symptoms of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice by decreasing the inflammatory infiltration and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, reducing tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α secretion, and inhibiting nitric oxide (NO) production in colitis mice. The degradation of inhibitory κBα (IκBα), phosphorylation of p65, and mRNA expression of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) target genes were inhibited by fargesin treatment in the colon of the colitis mice. In vitro, fargesin blocked the nuclear translocation of p-p65, downregulated the protein levels of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and dose-dependently inhibited the activity of NF-κB-luciferase in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. Taken together, for the first time, the current study demonstrated the anti-inflammatory effects of fargesin on chemically induced IBD might be associated with NF-κB signaling suppression. The findings may contribute to the development of therapies for human IBD by using fargesin or its derivatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Discovery for Neglected Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
A 3D-QSAR Study on the Antitrypanosomal and Cytotoxic Activities of Steroid Alkaloids by Comparative Molecular Field Analysis
Molecules 2018, 23(5), 1113; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23051113 - 08 May 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication
Bauerenol Acetate, the Pentacyclic Triterpenoid from Tabernaemontana longipes, is an Antitrypanosomal Agent
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020355 - 08 Feb 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The Latin American plant Tabernaemontana longipes was studied in this work as a potential source of antiparasitic agents. The chloroform extract of T. longipes leaves was separated into several fractions, and tested for antitrypanosomal activity. One of the fractions displayed significant growth inhibitory [...] Read more.
The Latin American plant Tabernaemontana longipes was studied in this work as a potential source of antiparasitic agents. The chloroform extract of T. longipes leaves was separated into several fractions, and tested for antitrypanosomal activity. One of the fractions displayed significant growth inhibitory activity against Trypanosoma brucei. The active principle in the fraction was isolated, purified, and characterized by NMR and mass spectrometry. The antitrypanosomal agent in the CHCl3 extract of T. longipes leaves is the pentacyclic triterpenoid bauerenol acetate. A metabolite profiling assay suggest that the triterpenoid influences cholesterol metabolism. The molecular target(s) of bauerenol and its acetate, like many other antiparasitic pentacyclic triterpenoids is/are unknown, but they present privileged structural scaffolds that can be explored for structure-based activity optimization studies using phenotypic assays. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sesquiterpene Lactones from Vernonia cinerascens Sch. Bip. and Their in Vitro Antitrypanosomal Activity
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020248 - 27 Jan 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
In the endeavor to obtain new antitrypanosomal agents, particularly sesquiterpene lactones, from Kenyan plants of the family Asteraceae, Vernonia cinerascens Sch. Bip. was investigated. Bioactivity-guided fractionation and isolation in conjunction with LC/MS-based dereplication has led to the identification of vernodalol (1) [...] Read more.
In the endeavor to obtain new antitrypanosomal agents, particularly sesquiterpene lactones, from Kenyan plants of the family Asteraceae, Vernonia cinerascens Sch. Bip. was investigated. Bioactivity-guided fractionation and isolation in conjunction with LC/MS-based dereplication has led to the identification of vernodalol (1) and isolation of vernodalin (2), 11β,13-dihydrovernodalin (3), 11β,13-dihydrovernolide (4), vernolide (5), 11β,13-dihydrohydroxyvernolide (6), hydroxyvernolide (7), and a new germacrolide type sesquiterpene lactone vernocinerascolide (8) from the dichloromethane extract of V. cinerascens leaves. Compounds 38 were characterized by extensive analysis of their 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopic and HR/MS spectrometric data. All the compounds were evaluated for their in vitro biological activity against bloodstream forms of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and for cytotoxicity against the mammalian cell line L6. Vernodalin (2) was the most active compound with an IC50 value of 0.16 µM and a selectivity index of 35. Its closely related congener 11β,13-dihydrovernodalin (3) registered an IC50 value of 1.1 µM and a selectivity index of 4.2. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Arnica Tincture Cures Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Golden Hamsters
Molecules 2018, 23(1), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23010150 - 12 Jan 2018
Abstract
In search for potential therapeutic alternatives to existing treatments for cutaneous Leishmaniasis, we have investigated the effect of Arnica tincture Ph. Eur. (a 70% hydroethanolic tincture prepared from flowerheads of Arnica montana L.) on the lesions caused by infection with Leishmania braziliensis in [...] Read more.
In search for potential therapeutic alternatives to existing treatments for cutaneous Leishmaniasis, we have investigated the effect of Arnica tincture Ph. Eur. (a 70% hydroethanolic tincture prepared from flowerheads of Arnica montana L.) on the lesions caused by infection with Leishmania braziliensis in a model with golden hamsters. The animals were treated topically with a daily single dose of the preparation for 28 days. Subsequently, the healing process was monitored by recording the lesion size in intervals of 15 days up to day 90. As a result, Arnica tincture fully cured three out of five hamsters while one animal showed an improvement and another one suffered from a relapse. This result was slightly better than that obtained with the positive control, meglumine antimonate, which cured two of five hamsters while the other three showed a relapse after 90 days. This result encourages us to further investigate the potential of Arnica tincture in the treatment of cutaneous Leishmaniasis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antimalarial Activity of Acetylenic Thiophenes from Echinops hoehnelii Schweinf
Molecules 2017, 22(11), 1965; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22111965 - 21 Nov 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
Malaria is one of the world’s most severe endemic diseases and due to the emergence of resistance to the currently available medicines, the need for new targets and relevant antimalarial drugs remains acute. The crude extract, four solvent fractions and two isolated compounds [...] Read more.
Malaria is one of the world’s most severe endemic diseases and due to the emergence of resistance to the currently available medicines, the need for new targets and relevant antimalarial drugs remains acute. The crude extract, four solvent fractions and two isolated compounds from the roots of Echinops hoehnelii were tested for their antimalarial activity using the standard four-day suppressive method in Plasmodium berghei-infected mice. The 80% methanol extract exhibited suppression of 4.6%, 27.8%, 68.5% and 78.7% at dose of 50, 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg respectively. The dichloromethane fraction displayed chemosuppression of 24.9, 33.5 and 43.0% dose of 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg of body weight. Five acetylenicthiophenes were isolated from the dichloromethane fraction of which 5-(penta-1,3-diynyl)-2-(3,4-dihydroxybut-1-ynyl)-thiophene decreased the level of parasitaemia by 43.2% and 50.2% while 5-(penta-1,3-diynyl)-2-(3-chloro-4-acetoxy-but-1-yn)-thiophene suppressed by 18.8% and 32.7% at 50 and 100 mg/kg, respectively. The study confirmed the traditional claim of the plant to treat malaria and could be used as a new lead for the development of antimalarial drugs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Baccharis reticularia DC. and Limonene Nanoemulsions: Promising Larvicidal Agents for Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) Control
Molecules 2017, 22(11), 1990; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22111990 - 17 Nov 2017
Cited by 12
Abstract
Baccharis reticularia DC. is a plant species from the Asteraceae family that is endemic to Brazil. Despite the great importance of Baccharis genus, no study has been carried out regarding either the phytochemical composition of B. reticularia or the evaluation of its larvicidal [...] Read more.
Baccharis reticularia DC. is a plant species from the Asteraceae family that is endemic to Brazil. Despite the great importance of Baccharis genus, no study has been carried out regarding either the phytochemical composition of B. reticularia or the evaluation of its larvicidal potential. Considering the intrinsic immiscibility of essential oils, this study shows larvicidal nanoemulsions containing the B. reticularia phytochemically characterized essential oil and its main constituent against Aedes aegypti. The major compound found was d-limonene (25.7%). The essential oil inhibited the acetylcholinesterase, one of the main targets of insecticides. The required hydrophile-lipophile balance of both nanoemulsions was 15.0. The mean droplet sizes were around 90.0 nm, and no major alterations were observed after 24 h of preparation for both formulations. After 48 h of treatment, the estimated LC50 values were 118.94 μg mL−1 and 81.19 μg mL−1 for B. reticularia essential oil and d-limonene nanoemulsions, respectively. Morphological alterations evidenced by scanning electron micrography were observed on the larvae treated with the d-limonene nanoemulsion. This paper demonstrated a simple and ecofriendly method for obtaining B. reticularia essential oil and d-limonene aqueous nanoemulsions by a non-heating and solvent-free method, as promising alternatives for Aedes aegypti control. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Four Prenylflavone Derivatives with Antiplasmodial Activities from the Stem of Tephrosia purpurea subsp. leptostachya
Molecules 2017, 22(9), 1514; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22091514 - 10 Sep 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Four new flavones with modified prenyl groups, namely (E)-5-hydroxytephrostachin (1), purleptone (2), (E)-5-hydroxyanhydrotephrostachin (3), and terpurlepflavone (4), along with seven known compounds (511), were isolated from the [...] Read more.
Four new flavones with modified prenyl groups, namely (E)-5-hydroxytephrostachin (1), purleptone (2), (E)-5-hydroxyanhydrotephrostachin (3), and terpurlepflavone (4), along with seven known compounds (511), were isolated from the CH2Cl2/MeOH (1:1) extract of the stem of Tephrosia purpurea subsp. leptostachya, a widely used medicinal plant. Their structures were elucidated on the basis of NMR spectroscopic and mass spectrometric evidence. Some of the isolated compounds showed antiplasmodial activity against the chloroquine-sensitive D6 strains of Plasmodium falciparum, with (E)-5-hydroxytephrostachin (1) being the most active, IC50 1.7 ± 0.1 μM, with relatively low cytotoxicity, IC50 > 21 μM, against four cell-lines. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Extracts Obtained from Pterocarpus angolensis DC and Ziziphus mucronata Exhibit Antiplasmodial Activity and Inhibit Heat Shock Protein 70 (Hsp70) Function
Molecules 2017, 22(8), 1224; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22081224 - 28 Jul 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Malaria parasites are increasingly becoming resistant to currently used antimalarial therapies, therefore there is an urgent need to expand the arsenal of alternative antimalarial drugs. In addition, it is also important to identify novel antimalarial drug targets. In the current study, extracts of [...] Read more.
Malaria parasites are increasingly becoming resistant to currently used antimalarial therapies, therefore there is an urgent need to expand the arsenal of alternative antimalarial drugs. In addition, it is also important to identify novel antimalarial drug targets. In the current study, extracts of two plants, Pterocarpus angolensis and Ziziphus mucronata were obtained and their antimalarial functions were investigated. Furthermore, we explored the capability of the extracts to inhibit Plasmodium falciparum heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) function. Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) are molecular chaperones whose function is to facilitate protein folding. Plasmodium falciparum the main agent of malaria, expresses two cytosol-localized Hsp70s: PfHsp70-1 and PfHsp70-z. The PfHsp70-z has been reported to be essential for parasite survival, while inhibition of PfHsp70-1 function leads to parasite death. Hence both PfHsp70-1 and PfHsp70-z are potential antimalarial drug targets. Extracts of P. angolensis and Z. mucronata inhibited the basal ATPase and chaperone functions of the two parasite Hsp70s. Furthermore, fractions of P. angolensis and Z. mucronata inhibited P. falciparum 3D7 parasite growth in vitro. The extracts obtained in the current study exhibited antiplasmodial activity as they killed P. falciparum parasites maintained in vitro. In addition, the findings further suggest that some of the compounds in P. angolensis and Z. mucronata may target parasite Hsp70 function. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Steroid Alkaloids from Holarrhena africana with Strong Activity against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense
Molecules 2017, 22(7), 1129; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22071129 - 06 Jul 2017
Cited by 8
Abstract
In our continued search for natural compounds with activity against Trypanosoma brucei, causative agent of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT, “sleeping sickness”), we have investigated extracts from the leaves and bark of the West African Holarrhena africana (syn. Holarrhena floribunda; Apocynaceae). The [...] Read more.
In our continued search for natural compounds with activity against Trypanosoma brucei, causative agent of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT, “sleeping sickness”), we have investigated extracts from the leaves and bark of the West African Holarrhena africana (syn. Holarrhena floribunda; Apocynaceae). The extracts and their alkaloid-enriched fractions displayed promising in vitro activity against bloodstream forms of T. brucei rhodesiense (Tbr; East African HAT). Bioactivity-guided chromatographic fractionation of the alkaloid-rich fractions resulted in the isolation of 17 steroid alkaloids, one nitrogen-free steroid and one alkaloid-like non-steroid. Impressive activities (IC50 in µM) against Tbr were recorded for 3β-holaphyllamine (0.40 ± 0.28), 3α-holaphyllamine (0.37 ± 0.16), 3β-dihydroholaphyllamine (0.67 ± 0.03), N-methylholaphyllamine (0.08 ± 0.01), conessimine (0.17 ± 0.08), conessine (0.42 ± 0.09), isoconessimine (0.17 ± 0.11) and holarrhesine (0.12 ± 0.08) with selectivity indices ranging from 13 to 302. Based on comparison of the structures of this congeneric series of steroid alkaloids and their activities, structure-activity relationships (SARs) could be established. It was found that a basic amino group at position C-3 of the pregnane or pregn-5-ene steroid nucleus is required for a significant anti-trypanosomal activity. The mono-methylated amino group at C-3 represents an optimum for activity. ∆5,6 unsaturation slightly increased the activity while hydrolysis of C-12β ester derivatives led to a loss of activity. An additional amino group at C-20 engaged in a pyrrolidine ring closed towards C-18 significantly increased the selectivity index of the compounds. Our findings provide useful empirical data for further development of steroid alkaloids as a novel class of anti-trypanosomal compounds which represent a promising starting point towards new drugs to combat human African trypanosomiasis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Leishmanicidal Activity and Structure-Activity Relationships of Essential Oil Constituents
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 815; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22050815 - 16 May 2017
Cited by 9
Abstract
Several constituents of essential oils have been shown to be active against pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. This study demonstrated the in vitro action of ten compounds present in essential oils against Leishmania amazonensis promastigotes. With the exception of p-cymene, [...] Read more.
Several constituents of essential oils have been shown to be active against pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. This study demonstrated the in vitro action of ten compounds present in essential oils against Leishmania amazonensis promastigotes. With the exception of p-cymene, all evaluated compounds presented leishmanicidal activity, exhibiting IC50 between 25.4 and 568.1 μg mL−1. Compounds with the best leishmanicidal activity presented a phenolic moiety (IC50 between 25.4 and 82.9 μg mL−1). Alicyclic alcohols ((−)-menthol and isoborneol) and ketones ((−)-carvone) promoted similar activity against the parasite (IC50 between 190.2 and 198.9 μg mL−1). Most of the compounds showed low cytotoxicity in L929 fibroblasts. Analysis of the structure-activity relationship of these compounds showed the importance of the phenolic structure for the biological action against the promastigote forms of the parasite. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Alkamides from Anacyclus pyrethrum L. and Their in Vitro Antiprotozoal Activity
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 796; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22050796 - 12 May 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
In our ongoing study to evaluate the antiprotozoal activity of alkamides from Asteraceae, a dichloromethane extract from the roots of Anacyclus pyrethrum L. showed a moderate in vitro activity against the NF54 strain of Plasmodium falciparum and against Leishmania donovani (amastigotes, MHOM/ET/67/L82 strain). [...] Read more.
In our ongoing study to evaluate the antiprotozoal activity of alkamides from Asteraceae, a dichloromethane extract from the roots of Anacyclus pyrethrum L. showed a moderate in vitro activity against the NF54 strain of Plasmodium falciparum and against Leishmania donovani (amastigotes, MHOM/ET/67/L82 strain). Seven pure alkamides and a mixture of two further alkamides were isolated by column chromatography followed by preparative high performance liquid chromatography. The alkamides were identified by mass- and NMR-spectroscopic methods as tetradeca-2E,4E-dien-8,10-diynoic acid isobutylamide (anacycline, 1), deca-2E,4E-dienoic acid isobutylamide (pellitorine, 2), deca-2E,4E,9-trienoic acid isobutylamide (3), deca-2E,4E-dienoic acid 2-phenylethylamide (4), undeca-2E,4E-dien-8,10-diynoic acid isopentylamide (5), tetradeca-2E,4E,12Z-trien-8,10-diynoic acid isobutylamide (6), and dodeca-2E,4E-dien acid 4-hydroxy-2-phenylethylamide (7). Two compounds—undeca-2E,4E-dien-8,10-diynoic acid 2-phenylethylamide (8) and deca-2E,4E-dienoic acid 4-hydroxy-2-phenylethylamide (9)—were isolated as an inseparable mixture (1:4). Compounds 3, 4, and 5 were isolated from Anacyclus pyrethrum L. for the first time. While compounds 4 and 5 were previously known from the genus Achillea, compound 3 is a new natural product, to the best of our knowledge. All isolated alkamides were tested in vitro for antiprotozoal activity against Plasmodium falciparum, Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, Trypanosoma cruzi, and Leishmania donovani and for cytotoxicity against L6 rat skeletal myoblasts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Anti-Onchocerca and Anti-Caenorhabditis Activity of a Hydro-Alcoholic Extract from the Fruits of Acacia nilotica and Some Proanthocyanidin Derivatives
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22050748 - 06 May 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Acacia nilotica fruits with high tannin content are used in the northern parts of Cameroon as anti-filarial remedies by traditional healers. In this study, the hydro-alcoholic fruit extract (crude extract (CE)) and, one of the main constituents in its most active fractions, (+)-catechin-3- [...] Read more.
Acacia nilotica fruits with high tannin content are used in the northern parts of Cameroon as anti-filarial remedies by traditional healers. In this study, the hydro-alcoholic fruit extract (crude extract (CE)) and, one of the main constituents in its most active fractions, (+)-catechin-3-O-gallate (CG), as well as four related proanthocyanidins, (−)-epicatechin-3-O-gallate (ECG), (+)-gallocatechin (GC), (−)-epigallocatechin (EGC) and (−)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG), were assessed for their potential in vitro anthelmintic properties against the free-living model organism Caenorhabditis elegans and against the cattle filarial parasite Onchocerca ochengi. Worms were incubated in the presence of different concentrations of fruit extract, fractions and pure compounds. The effects on mortality were monitored after 48 h. The plant extract and all of the pure tested compounds were active against O. ochengi (LC50 ranging from 1.2 to 11.5 µg/mL on males) and C. elegans (LC50 ranging from 33.8 to 350 µg/mL on wild type). While high LC50 were required for the effects of the compounds on C. elegans, very low LC50 were required against O. ochengi. Importantly, tests for acute oral toxicity (lowest dose: 10 mg/kg) in Wistar rats demonstrated that crude extract and pure compounds were non-toxic and safe to use. Additionally, the results of cytotoxicity tests with the Caco-2 cell line (CC50 ranging from 47.1 to 93.2 µg/mL) confirmed the absence of significant toxicity of the crude extract and pure compounds. These results are in good accordance with the use of A. nilotica against nematode infections by traditional healers, herdsmen and pastoralists in Cameroon. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of the Anti-Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum Activity of Some Natural Sesquiterpene Lactones
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22050685 - 25 Apr 2017
Cited by 11
Abstract
Leishmaniases are neglected infectious diseases caused by parasites of the ‘protozoan’ genus Leishmania. Depending on the parasite species, different clinical forms are known as cutaneous, muco-cutaneous, and the visceral leishmaniasis (VL). VL is particularly fatal and the therapy presents limitations. In the [...] Read more.
Leishmaniases are neglected infectious diseases caused by parasites of the ‘protozoan’ genus Leishmania. Depending on the parasite species, different clinical forms are known as cutaneous, muco-cutaneous, and the visceral leishmaniasis (VL). VL is particularly fatal and the therapy presents limitations. In the search for new anti-leishmanial hit compounds, seven natural sesquiterpene lactones were evaluated against promastigotes and intracellular amastigotes of Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum, a pathogen causing VL. The pseudoguaianolides mexicanin I and helenalin acetate demonstrated the highest selectivity and potency against intracellular amastigotes. In addition, promastigotes treated with helenalin acetate were subject to an ultrastructural and biochemical investigation. The lethal action of the compound was investigated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and related techniques to detect alterations in reactive oxygen species (ROS) content, plasma membrane permeability, and mitochondrial membrane potential. Helenalin acetate significantly reduced the mitochondrial membrane potential and the mitochondrial structural damage was also confirmed by transmission electron microscopy, displaying an intense organelle swelling. No alteration of plasma membrane permeability or ROS content could be detected. Additionally, helenalin acetate significantly increased the production of nitric oxide in peritoneal macrophages, probably potentiating the activity against the intracellular amastigotes. Helenalin acetate could hence be a useful anti-leishmanial scaffold for further optimization studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Chemical Composition and Antileishmanial and Antituberculosis Activities of Essential Oils of Piper Species
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1698; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21121698 - 12 Dec 2016
Cited by 14
Abstract
Essential oils from fresh Piperaceae leaves were obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC–MS), and a total of 68 components were identified. Principal components analysis results showed a chemical variability between species, with sesquiterpene compounds predominating in the majority [...] Read more.
Essential oils from fresh Piperaceae leaves were obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC–MS), and a total of 68 components were identified. Principal components analysis results showed a chemical variability between species, with sesquiterpene compounds predominating in the majority of species analyzed. The composition of the essential oil of Piper mosenii was described for the first time. The cytotoxicity of the essential oils was evaluated in peritoneal macrophages and the oils of P. rivinoides, P. arboretum, and P. aduncum exhibited the highest values, with cytotoxic concentration at 50% (CC50) > 200 µg/mL. Both P. diospyrifolium and P. aduncum displayed activity against Leishmania amazonensis, and were more selective for the parasite than for the macrophages, with a selectivity index (SI) of 2.35 and >5.52, respectively. These SI values were greater than the 1 for the standard drug pentamidine. The antileishmanial activity of the essential oils of P. diospyrifolium and P. aduncum was described for the first time. P. rivinoides, P. cernuum, and P. diospyrifolium displayed moderate activity against the Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv bacillus, with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 125 µg/mL. These results are relevant and suggests their potential for therapeutic purposes. Nevertheless, further studies are required to explain the exact mechanism of action of these essential oils. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antiprotozoal and Antiglycation Activities of Sesquiterpene Coumarins from Ferula narthex Exudate
Molecules 2016, 21(10), 1287; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21101287 - 26 Sep 2016
Cited by 8
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′R [...] 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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21091237 - 15 Sep 2016
Cited by 9
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 to [...] 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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21091132 - 12 Sep 2016
Cited by 6
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 with [...] 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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21081045 - 10 Aug 2016
Cited by 15
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 of [...] 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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21070891 - 07 Jul 2016
Cited by 10
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 extracts [...] 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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21060765 - 11 Jun 2016
Cited by 6
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)-2E [...] 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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21040445 - 13 Apr 2016
Cited by 5
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 the [...] 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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21040480 - 12 Apr 2016
Cited by 13
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 sleeping [...] 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
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Open AccessArticle
Leishmanicidal Activity of (+)-Phyllanthidine and the Phytochemical Profile of Margaritaria nobilis (Phyllanthaceae)
Molecules 2015, 20(12), 22157-22169; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules201219829 - 11 Dec 2015
Cited by 10
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 or [...] 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 AccessArticle
Anti-Protozoal Activities of Cembrane-Type Diterpenes from Vietnamese Soft Corals
Molecules 2015, 20(7), 12459-12468; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules200712459 - 08 Jul 2015
Cited by 19
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 an [...] 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
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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules200610873 - 12 Jun 2015
Cited by 13
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
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Open AccessArticle
PLS-Prediction and Confirmation of Hydrojuglone Glucoside as the Antitrypanosomal Constituent of Juglans Spp.
Molecules 2015, 20(6), 10082-10094; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules200610082 - 29 May 2015
Cited by 14
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 found [...] 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
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Open AccessArticle
Antitrypanosomal Acetylene Fatty Acid Derivatives from the Seeds of Porcelia macrocarpa (Annonaceae)
Molecules 2015, 20(5), 8168-8180; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules20058168 - 07 May 2015
Cited by 5
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 crucial. [...] 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
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Open AccessArticle
Antileishmanial and Cytotoxic Compounds from Valeriana wallichii and Identification of a Novel Nepetolactone Derivative
Molecules 2015, 20(4), 5740-5753; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules20045740 - 01 Apr 2015
Cited by 18
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 derivatives [...] 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
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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules20022775 - 06 Feb 2015
Cited by 15
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 causative [...] 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
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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules191221276 - 17 Dec 2014
Cited by 10
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. heitzii [...] 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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules191221044 - 15 Dec 2014
Cited by 13
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, much [...] 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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules191118911 - 18 Nov 2014
Cited by 6
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 EC [...] 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
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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules190914052 - 09 Sep 2014
Cited by 16
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 showed [...] 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
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Open AccessArticle
In Vivo Antiplasmodial Potentials of the Combinations of Four Nigerian Antimalarial Plants
Molecules 2014, 19(9), 13136-13146; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules190913136 - 26 Aug 2014
Cited by 8
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-infected [...] 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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules190710546 - 18 Jul 2014
Cited by 11
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. Natural [...] 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
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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19068488 - 23 Jun 2014
Cited by 14
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 vitro [...] 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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19068363 - 19 Jun 2014
Cited by 3
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 available [...] 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 AccessArticle
Secondary Metabolites from Vietnamese Marine Invertebrates with Activity against Trypanosoma brucei and T. cruzi
Molecules 2014, 19(6), 7869-7880; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19067869 - 11 Jun 2014
Cited by 15
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 using [...] 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
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Open AccessArticle
Antiprotozoal Activity of Achillea ptarmica (Asteraceae) and Its Main Alkamide Constituents
Molecules 2014, 19(5), 6428-6438; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19056428 - 20 May 2014
Cited by 22
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 = 0.67 [...] 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
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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19056184 - 15 May 2014
Cited by 13
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 against [...] 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
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Leishmanicidal Activities of Sesquiterpene Lactones from Tithonia diversifolia against Leishmania braziliensis Promastigotes and Amastigotes
Molecules 2014, 19(5), 6070-6079; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19056070 - 14 May 2014
Cited by 26
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 lactone-rich [...] 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
Antiparasitic Activity of Natural and Semi-Synthetic Tirucallane Triterpenoids from Schinus terebinthifolius (Anacardiaceae): Structure/Activity Relationships
Molecules 2014, 19(5), 5761-5776; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19055761 - 05 May 2014
Cited by 16
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 essential. [...] 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
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Open AccessArticle
Leishmanicidal Evaluation of Tetrahydroprotoberberine and Spirocyclic Erythrina-Alkaloids
Molecules 2014, 19(5), 5692-5703; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19055692 - 05 May 2014
Cited by 24
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 and [...] 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
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Open AccessArticle
In-Silico Analyses of Sesquiterpene-Related Compounds on Selected Leishmania Enzyme-Based Targets
Molecules 2014, 19(5), 5550-5569; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19055550 - 29 Apr 2014
Cited by 19
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 improve [...] 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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19055470 - 25 Apr 2014
Cited by 17
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 acetate) [...] 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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19045205 - 23 Apr 2014
Cited by 7
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 benzoic [...] 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
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Open AccessArticle
Antiprotozoal Activities of Millettia richardiana (Fabaceae) from Madagascar
Molecules 2014, 19(4), 4200-4211; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19044200 - 03 Apr 2014
Cited by 1
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 six [...] 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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19033793 - 24 Mar 2014
Cited by 35
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 oils [...] 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
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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19033523 - 21 Mar 2014
Cited by 23
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 and [...] 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
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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19022571 - 24 Feb 2014
Cited by 10
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 or [...] 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
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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19021394 - 27 Jan 2014
Cited by 21
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 (IC [...] 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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Open AccessReview
The Development of Novel Compounds Against Malaria: Quinolines, Triazolpyridines, Pyrazolopyridines and Pyrazolopyrimidines
Molecules 2019, 24(22), 4095; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24224095 - 13 Nov 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Based on medicinal chemistry tools, new compounds for malaria treatment were designed. The scaffolds of the drugs used to treat malaria, such as chloroquine, primaquine, amodiaquine, mefloquine and sulfadoxine, were used as inspiration. We demonstrated the importance of quinoline and non-quinoline derivatives in [...] Read more.
Based on medicinal chemistry tools, new compounds for malaria treatment were designed. The scaffolds of the drugs used to treat malaria, such as chloroquine, primaquine, amodiaquine, mefloquine and sulfadoxine, were used as inspiration. We demonstrated the importance of quinoline and non-quinoline derivatives in vitro with activity against the W2 chloroquine-resistant (CQR) Plasmodium falciparum clone strain and in vivo against Plasmodium berghei-infected mouse model. Among the quinoline derivatives, new hybrids between chloroquine and sulfadoxine were designed, which gave rise to an important prototype that was more active than both chloroquine and sulfadoxine. Hybrids between chloroquine–atorvastatin and primaquine–atorvastatin were also synthesized and shown to be more potent than the parent drugs alone. Additionally, among the quinoline derivatives, new mefloquine derivatives were synthesized. Among the non-quinoline derivatives, we obtained excellent results with the triazolopyrimidine nucleus, which gave us prototype I that inspired the synthesis of new heterocycles. The pyrazolopyrimidine derivatives stood out as non-quinoline derivatives that are potent inhibitors of the P. falciparum dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (PfDHODH) enzyme. We also examined the pyrazolopyridine and pyrazolopyrimidine nuclei. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Discovery for Neglected Diseases)
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Open AccessReview
Potential Antivirals: Natural Products Targeting Replication Enzymes of Dengue and Chikungunya Viruses
Molecules 2017, 22(3), 505; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22030505 - 22 Mar 2017
Cited by 18
Abstract
Dengue virus (DENV) and chikungunya virus (CHIKV) are reemergent arboviruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes of the Aedes genus. During the last several decades, these viruses have been responsible for millions of cases of infection and thousands of deaths worldwide. Therefore, several investigations [...] Read more.
Dengue virus (DENV) and chikungunya virus (CHIKV) are reemergent arboviruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes of the Aedes genus. During the last several decades, these viruses have been responsible for millions of cases of infection and thousands of deaths worldwide. Therefore, several investigations were conducted over the past few years to find antiviral compounds for the treatment of DENV and CHIKV infections. One attractive strategy is the screening of compounds that target enzymes involved in the replication of both DENV and CHIKV. In this review, we describe advances in the evaluation of natural products targeting the enzymes involved in the replication of these viruses. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Computer-Aided Drug Design Using Sesquiterpene Lactones as Sources of New Structures with Potential Activity against Infectious Neglected Diseases
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22010079 - 03 Jan 2017
Cited by 18
Abstract
This review presents an survey to the biological importance of sesquiterpene lactones (SLs) in the fight against four infectious neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)—leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, Chagas disease, and sleeping sickness—as alternatives to the current chemotherapies that display several problems such as low effectiveness, resistance, [...] Read more.
This review presents an survey to the biological importance of sesquiterpene lactones (SLs) in the fight against four infectious neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)—leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, Chagas disease, and sleeping sickness—as alternatives to the current chemotherapies that display several problems such as low effectiveness, resistance, and high toxicity. Several studies have demonstrated the great potential of some SLs as therapeutic agents for these NTDs and the relationship between the protozoal activities with their chemical structure. Recently, Computer-Aided Drug Design (CADD) studies have helped increase the knowledge of SLs regarding their mechanisms, the discovery of new lead molecules, the identification of pharmacophore groups and increase the biological activity by employing in silico tools such as molecular docking, virtual screening and Quantitative-Structure Activity Relationship (QSAR) studies. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Potential of Secondary Metabolites from Plants as Drugs or Leads against Protozoan Neglected Diseases—Part III: In-Silico Molecular Docking Investigations
Molecules 2016, 21(10), 1389; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21101389 - 19 Oct 2016
Cited by 20
Abstract
Malaria, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and human African trypanosomiasis continue to cause considerable suffering and death in developing countries. Current treatment options for these parasitic protozoal diseases generally have severe side effects, may be ineffective or unavailable, and resistance is emerging. There is a [...] Read more.
Malaria, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and human African trypanosomiasis continue to cause considerable suffering and death in developing countries. Current treatment options for these parasitic protozoal diseases generally have severe side effects, may be ineffective or unavailable, and resistance is emerging. There is a constant need to discover new chemotherapeutic agents for these parasitic infections, and natural products continue to serve as a potential source. This review presents molecular docking studies of potential phytochemicals that target key protein targets in Leishmania spp., Trypanosoma spp., and Plasmodium spp. Full article
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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules200815392 - 24 Aug 2015
Cited by 22Correction
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 infections. [...] 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
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Open AccessReview
Anti-Trypanosomal Activity of Nigerian Plants and Their Constituents
Molecules 2015, 20(5), 7750-7771; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules20057750 - 28 Apr 2015
Cited by 27
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 have [...] 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
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Open AccessReview
Natural Products for the Treatment of Trachoma and Chlamydia trachomatis
Molecules 2015, 20(3), 4180-4203; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules20034180 - 05 Mar 2015
Cited by 10
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 typically [...] 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
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Open AccessReview
Natural Products as Leads in Schistosome Drug Discovery
Molecules 2015, 20(2), 1872-1903; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules20021872 - 23 Jan 2015
Cited by 38
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, indicating [...] 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
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