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Other Publications (78)

Articles by Larry A. Walker in JoVE

 JoVE Immunology and Infection

A Parasite Rescue and Transformation Assay for Antileishmanial Screening Against Intracellular Leishmania donovani Amastigotes in THP1 Human Acute Monocytic Leukemia Cell Line

1National Center for Natural Products Research, School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi, 2Department of Pharmacology, University of Mississippi


JoVE 4054

A parasite-rescue and transformation assay with THP1 cells infected in vitro with Leishmania donovani has been optimized for anti-leishmanial drug screening. The assay involves differentiation of THP1 cells, infection with promastigotes, treatment with test drugs, controlled lysis of the infected macrophages, rescue of amastigotes, transformation to promastigotes and monitoring promastigote growth and proliferation with a fluorometric assay.

Other articles by Larry A. Walker on PubMed

Time-resolved Spectroscopic Studies of B(12) Coenzymes: a Comparison of the Primary Photolysis Mechanism in Methyl-, Ethyl-, N-propyl-, and 5'-deoxyadenosylcobalamin

An ultrafast transient absorption study of the primary photolysis of ethyl- and n-propylcobalamin in water is presented. Data have been obtained for two distinct excitation wavelengths, 400 nm at the edge of the UV gamma-band absorption, and 520 nm in the strong visible alphabeta-band absorption. These data are compared with results reported earlier for the B(12) coenzymes, methyl- and adenosylcobalamin. The data obtained for ethylcobalamin and n-propylcobalamin following excitation at 400 nm demonstrate the formation of one major photoproduct on a picosecond time scale. This photoproduct is spectroscopically identifiable as a cob(II)alamin species. Excitation of methyl-, ethyl-, and n-propylcobalamin at 520 nm in the low-lying alphabeta absorption band results in bond homolysis proceeding via a bound cob(III)alamin MLCT state. For all of the cobalamins studied here competition between geminate recombination of caged radical pairs and cage escape occurs on a time scale of 500 to 700 ps. The rate constants for geminate recombination in aqueous solution fall within a factor of 2 between 0.76 and 1.4 ns(-1). Intrinsic cage escape occurs on time scales ranging from

Natural Products Inhibiting Candida Albicans Secreted Aspartic Proteases from Tovomita Krukovii

Assay-guided fractionation of the ethanol extract of Tovomita krukovii resulted in the identification of four new xanthones (1 - 4) and ten known compounds (5 - 14). The structures of compounds 1 - 14 were determined by spectral data to be 3,5-dihydroxy-4-methoxyxanthone (1), 1,3,5,7-tetrahydroxy-8-isoprenylxanthone (2), 1,3,5-trihydroxy-8-isoprenylxanthone (3), 1,5,7-trihydroxy-8-isoprenylxanthone (4), 1,3,7-trihydroxy-2-isoprenylxanthone (5), 1,5-dihydroxyxanthone (6), 1,6-dihydroxy-5-methoxyxanthone (7), 1,3,5-trihydroxyxanthone (8), 1,3,6-trihydroxy-5-methoxyxanthone (9), 1,6-dihydroxy-3,5-dimethoxyxanthone (10), 1,3,7-trihydroxyxanthone (11), 3-geranyl-2,4,6-trihydroxybenzophenone (12), betulinic acid (13), and 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (14). Compounds 2, 3, 12 and 13 showed inhibitory effects against Candida albicans secreted aspartic proteases (SAP) with IC50 values of 15 microg/ml, 25 microg/ml, 40 microg/ml, and 6.5 microg/ml, respectively, while the other compounds were inactive. In addition, compound 12 showed activity against C. albicans, C. neoformans, S. aureus and methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRS).

Biologically Active Secondary Metabolites from Ginkgo Biloba

Three new compounds, (7E)-2beta,3alpha-dihydroxy-megastigm-7-en-9-one (1), 3-[5,7-dihydroxy-2-(4-methoxyphenyl)-4-oxo-4H-chromen-8-yl]-4-methoxybenzoic acid (2), and 4'-O-methyl myricetin 3-O-(6-O-alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl)-beta-D-glucopyranoside (3), were isolated from Ginkgo biloba, together with 27 known compounds. The structures of the new compounds were determined primarily from 1D- and 2D-NMR analysis. The 4-O-methylbenzoic acid structural feature at C-8 in 2 is encountered for the first time. The antioxidant activities of 29 compounds isolated from Ginkgo biloba were evaluated on intracellular reactive oxygen species in HL-60 cells. It was found that quercetin, kampferol, and tamarixetin had antioxidant activity that was approximately 3-fold greater than that of their respective glycosides and also approximately 3-fold greater than that of a standard ascorbic acid with an IC(50) at maximum effectiveness.

Antifungal Activity of Eupolauridine and Its Action on DNA Topoisomerases

The azafluoranthene alkaloid eupolauridine has previously been shown to have in vitro antifungal activity and selective inhibition of fungal topoisomerase I. The present study was undertaken to examine further its selectivity and mode of action. Eupolauridine completely inhibits the DNA relaxation activity of purified fungal topoisomerase I at 50 microg/ml, but it does not stabilize the cleavage complex of either human or fungal topoisomerase I. Cleavage complex stabilization is the mode of action of topoisomerase I targeting drugs of the camptothecin family. Also, unlike camptothecin, eupolauridine does not cause significant cytotoxicity in mammalian cells. To determine if the inhibition of topoisomerase I is the principal mode of antifungal action of eupolauridine, Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains with alterations in topoisomerase genes were used in clonogenic assays. The antifungal activity of eupolauridine was not diminished in the absence of topoisomerase I; rather, the cells lacking the enzyme were more sensitive to the drug. Cell-killing activity of eupolauridine was also more pronounced in cells that overexpressed topoisomerase II. In vitro assays with the purified yeast enzyme confirmed that eupolauridine stabilized topoisomerase II covalent complexes. These results indicate that a major target for fungal cell killing by eupolauridine is DNA topoisomerase II rather than topoisomerase I, but does not exclude the possibility that the drug also acts against other targets.

New Sesquiterpenoids from the Root of Guatteria Multivenia

A phytochemical investigation of the CHCl(3) fraction of an ethanol extract of the root of Guatteria multivenia furnished nine compounds, of which four are sesquiterpenes (1-4) and five are alkaloids (5-9). Of the four sesquiterpenes, two are new (1, 3), named guatterin A (1) and dihydromadolin-K (3), and two are known (2, 4), identified as madolin-K (2) and madolin-W (4). The five known alkaloids were identified as liriodenine (5), lysicamine (6), lanuginosine (7), guadiscine (8), and O-methylpallidine (9). All the known compounds were isolated from this species for the first time. Structures of the new compounds were determined by extensive NMR studies, including DEPT, COSY, HMQC, HMBC, and NOESY. Compound 7 showed weak inhibitory effect against Candida albicans secreted aspartic proteases (SAP) with IC(50) of 45 microg/mL. Compound 5 was found to have antimicrobial activity against C. albicans, Cryptococcusneoformans, Staphylococcus aureus, and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRS) with IC(50)/MIC values of 3.5/6.25, 2.0/12.5, 2.0/3.13, and 2.0/3.13 microg/mL, respectively.

Natural Products Inhibiting Candida Albicans Secreted Aspartic Proteases from Lycopodium Cernuum

Activity-guided fractionation of an ethanol extract of Lycopodium cernuum for Candida albicans secreted aspartic proteases (SAP) inhibition resulted in the identification of six new (1-6) and four known (7-10) serratene triterpenes, along with the known apigenin-4'-O-(2' ',6' '-di-O-p-coumaroyl)-beta-D-glucopyranoside (11). On the basis of spectroscopic analysis, the structures of 1-10 were established as 3beta,14alpha,15alpha,21beta,29-pentahydroxyserratane-24-oic acid (lycernuic acid C, 1), 3beta,14alpha,15alpha,21beta-tetrahydroxyserratane-24-oic acid (lycernuic acid D, 2), 3beta,14beta,21beta-trihydroxyserratane-24-oic acid (lycernuic acid E, 3), 3beta,21beta,29-trihydroxy-16-oxoserrat-14-en-24-methyl ester (lycernuic ketone A, 4), 3alpha,21beta,29-trihydroxy-16-oxoserrat-14-en-24-methyl ester (lycernuic ketone B, 5), 3alpha,21beta,24-trihydroxyserrat-14-en-16-one (lycernuic ketone C, 6), 3beta,21beta-dihydroxyserrat-14-en-24-oic acid (lycernuic acid A, 7), 3beta,21beta,29-trihydroxyserrat-14-en-24-oic acid (lycernuic acid B, 8), serrat-14-en-3beta,21beta-diol (9), and serrat-14-en-3beta,21alpha-diol (10). The 13C NMR data for the known compounds 7 and 8 are reported for the first time. Compounds 1 and 11 showed inhibitory effects against C. albicans secreted aspartic proteases (SAP) with IC50 of 20 and 8.5 microg/mL, respectively, while the other compounds were inactive.

Characterization of Mycotypha Metabolites Found to Be Inhibitors of Cell Adhesion Molecules

Three inhibitors of cell adhesion based on LFA-1/ICAM-1 were isolated from the cultured broth of the fungal strain Mycotypha sp. UMF-006. These compounds were identified by spectroscopy to be cytochalasin E (1), 5,6-dehydro-7-hydroxy derivative of cytochalasin E (2) and delta 6,12-isomer of 2 (3). All these components inhibited adhesion of HL-60 cells to CHO-ICAM-1 cells at IC50 values of 30 micrograms/ml for 1, 75 micrograms/ml for 2, and 90 micrograms/ml for 3.

Fatty Acid Synthase Inhibitors from Plants: Isolation, Structure Elucidation, and SAR Studies

Fatty acid synthase (FAS) has been identified as a potential antifungal target. FAS prepared from Saccharomyces cerevisiae was employed for bioactivity-guided fractionation of Chlorophora tinctoria,Paspalum conjugatum, Symphonia globulifera, Buchenavia parviflora, and Miconia pilgeriana. Thirteen compounds (1-13), including three new natural products (1, 4, 12), were isolated and their structures identified by spectroscopic interpretation. They represented five chemotypes, namely, isoflavones, flavones, biflavonoids, hydrolyzable tannin-related derivatives, and triterpenoids. 3'-Formylgenistein (1) and ellagic acid 4-O-alpha-l-rhamnopyranoside (9) were the most potent compounds against FAS, with IC(50) values of 2.3 and 7.5 microg/mL, respectively. Furthermore, 43 (14-56) analogues of the five chemotypes from our natural product repository and commercial sources were tested for their FAS inhibitory activity. Structure-activity relationships for some chemotypes were investigated. All these compounds were further evaluated for antifungal activity against Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans. Although there were several antifungal compounds in the set, correlation between the FAS inhibitory activity and antifungal activity could not be defined.

Flavanone Glycosides from Miconia Trailii

Assay-guided fractionation of the ethanol extract of the twigs and leaves of Miconia trailii yielded two new flavanone glycosides, matteucinol 7-O-alpha-l-arabinopyranosyl(1-->6)-beta-d-glucopyranoside (miconioside A, 1) and farrerol 7-O-beta-d-apiofuranosyl(1-->6)-beta-d-glucopyranoside (miconioside B, 2), along with the known compounds matteucinol 7-O-beta-d-apiofuranosyl(1-->6)-beta-d-glucopyranoside (3), matteucinol (4), 2alpha,3beta,19alpha-trihydroxyolean-12-ene-24,28-dioic acid (bartogenic acid, 5), 2alpha,3beta,23-trihydroxyolean-12-ene-28-oic acid (arjunolic acid, 6), 2alpha,3alpha,19alpha, 23-tetrahydroxyurs-12-ene-28-oic acid (myrianthic acid, 7), and stigmast-4-ene-3,6-dione (8). The structures of 1-8 were elucidated by spectroscopic methods, including 2D NMR.

Cytotoxic Sesquiterpene Lactones from Centaurothamnus Maximus and Vicoa Pentanema

The aerial parts of Centaurothamnus maximus yielded three cytotoxic guaianolides, chlorojanerin (1), cynaropicrin (2) and janerin (3). The structure elucidation of 1-3 was based on (1)H and (13)C NMR data, mainly 2D-NMR (1)H-(1)H COSY and (1)H-(13)C HETCOR experiments. Compounds 1-3 showed in vitro cytotoxic activity against human cancer cell lines of malignant melanoma (SK-MEL), epidermoid (KB), ductal (BT-549) and ovarian (SK-OV-3) carcinomas with IC(50) values of 2-6 microgram/mL. In addition, 12 sesquiterpene lactones (4-15), isolated previously from the aerial parts of Vicoa pentanema, were evaluated for cytotoxic and antimicrobial activities. 2alpha- Acetoxy-3beta-hydroxyalantolactone (10) and 8beta-hydroxyparthenolide (14) were found to be the main cytotoxic agents (IC(50) values of 2-6 microgram/mL against SK-MEL, BT-549 and SK-OV-3), while lactones 4, 5, 11 and 15 selectively inhibited the growth of human malignant melanoma (IC(50) value of 3.6-7.3 microgram/mL). Cell aggregation and cell adhesion assays, using HL-60 and HeLa cell lines, evaluated the effect of cytotoxic constituents 1-3, 10 and 14 on immune response and inflammation.

Genipatriol, a New Cycloartane Triterpene from Genipa Spruceana

Genipatriol (1), a new 2alpha,3beta-dihydroxylated cycloartane triterpene, was isolated from the aerial parts of Genipa spruceana. The structure of genipatriol was determined by a combination of spectroscopic methods.

Phenolic Compounds from Nymphaea Odorata

Assay-guided fractionation of the ethanol extract of Nymphaea odorata resulted in the identification of two lignans, one new (1) and one known (2), together with six known flavonol glycosides (3-8). The structures of 1-8 were established by spectroscopic analysis as nymphaeoside A (1), icariside E(4) (2), kaempferol 3-O-alpha-l-rhamnopyranoside (afzelin, 3), quercetin 3-O-alpha-l-rhamnopyranoside (4), myricetin 3-O-alpha-l-rhamnopyranoside (myricitrin, 5), quercetin 3-O-(6' '-O-acetyl)-beta-d-galactopyranoside (6), myricetin 3-O-beta-d-galactopyranoside (7), and myricetin 3-O-(6' '-O-acetyl)-beta-d-galactopyranoside (8). Compounds 3, 4, and 7 showed marginal inhibitory effect against fatty acid synthase with IC(50) values of 45, 50, and 25 microg/mL, respectively.

Genome-wide Expression Profiling of the Response to Polyene, Pyrimidine, Azole, and Echinocandin Antifungal Agents in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

Antifungal compounds exert their activity through a variety of mechanisms, some of which are poorly understood. Novel approaches to characterize the mechanism of action of antifungal agents will be of great use in the antifungal drug development process. The aim of the present study was to investigate the changes in the gene expression profile of Saccharomyces cerevisiae following exposure to representatives of the four currently available classes of antifungal agents used in the management of systemic fungal infections. Microarray analysis indicated differential expression of 0.8, 4.1, 3.0, and 2.6% of the genes represented on the Affymetrix S98 yeast gene array in response to ketoconazole, amphotericin B, caspofungin, and 5-fluorocytosine (5-FC), respectively. Quantitative real time reverse transcriptase-PCR was used to confirm the microarray analyses. Genes responsive to ketoconazole, caspofungin, and 5-FC were indicative of the drug-specific effects. Ketoconazole exposure primarily affected genes involved in ergosterol biosynthesis and sterol uptake; caspofungin exposure affected genes involved in cell wall integrity; and 5-FC affected genes involved in DNA and protein synthesis, DNA damage repair, and cell cycle control. In contrast, amphotericin B elicited changes in gene expression reflecting cell stress, membrane reconstruction, transport, phosphate uptake, and cell wall integrity. Genes with the greatest specificity for a particular drug were grouped together as drug-specific genes, whereas genes with a lack of drug specificity were also identified. Taken together, these data shed new light on the mechanisms of action of these classes of antifungal agents and demonstrate the potential utility of gene expression profiling in antifungal drug development.

A New Triterpene from Leandra Chaetodon

A new triterpene compound ( 1), along with arjunolic acid, was isolated from an ethanol extract of the whole plant of Leandra chaetodon. Based on spectroscopic analysis, the structure of 1 was determined as 2alpha,6alpha- dihydroxybetulinic acid. Arjunolic acid showed inhibitory activity against Cryptococcus neoformans. (IC50 = 20 micrograms/mL).

Antiparasitic Alkaloids from Psychotria Klugii

Psychotria klugii yielded two new benzoquinolizidine alkaloids, klugine (1) and 7'-O-demethylisocephaeline (2), together with the previously known cephaeline (3), isocephaeline (4), and 7-O-methylipecoside (5). The structures and stereochemistry of 1 and 2 were determined by 1D and 2D NMR data and circular dichroism experiments. Cephaeline (3) demonstrated potent in vitro antileishmanial activity against Leishmania donavani (IC(50) 0.03 microg/mL) and was >20- and >5-fold more potent than pentamidine and amphotericin B, respectively, while klugine (1) (IC(50) 0.40 microg/mL) and isocephaeline (4) (IC(50) 0.45 microg/mL) were <13- and <15-fold less potent than 3. In addition, emetine (6) (IC(50) 0.03 microg/mL) was found to be as equally potent as 3, but was >12-fold more toxic than 3 against VERO cells (IC(50) 0.42 vs 5.3 microg/mL). Alkaloids 1 and 3 exhibited potent antimalarial activity against Plasmodium falciparum clones W2 and D6 (IC(50) 27.7-46.3 ng/mL). Compound 3 was cytotoxic to SK-MEL, KB, BT-549, and SK-OV-3 human cancer cells, while 1 was inactive.

Acetylenic Acids Inhibiting Azole-resistant Candida Albicans from Pentagonia Gigantifolia

Antifungal bioassay-guided isolation of the ethanol extract of the roots of Pentagonia gigantifolia yielded 6-octadecynoic acid (1) and the new 6-nonadecynoic acid (2). Compounds 1 and 2 inhibited the growth of fluconazole-susceptible and -resistant Candida albicans strains. Their antifungal potencies were comparable to those of amphotericin B and fluconazole. Of particular significance is the low cytotoxicity and specific activity of 1 and 2 against C. albicans.

Cytotoxic and Antioxidant Activities of Alkylated Benzoquinones from Maesa Lanceolata

The natural and semi-synthetic analogs of substituted 1,4-benzoquinones were evaluated for in vitro cytotoxic and antioxidant activities. Maesanin, dihydromaesanin, maesanin dimethyl ether and isomeric mixtures of 3-[(Z)-10'-pentadecenyl]-benzoquinone derivatives exhibited cytotoxic activity against HL-60 cell line (IC50 values 4.5, 2.2, 0.43 and 2.8 microg/mL, respectively), while it was found to be inactive against ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) generation in HL-60. In contrast, the isomeric acylated benzoquinones with shorter alkyl substituents, namely, 2-acetoxy-5-hydoxy-6-methyl-3-tridecyl-1,4-benzoquinone and 2-hydoxy-5-acetoxy-6-methyl-3-tridecyl-1,4-benzoquinone showed most prominent antioxidant and antiproliferative effect on HL-60 (IC50 values 6.2 and 2.2 microg/mL, respectively), as well as cytotoxicities against SK-MEL, KB, BT-549 and SK-OV-3 carcinomas (IC50 values <1.1-4.2 microg/mL). All benzoquinones were found to be inactive against cell aggregation and cell adhesion assays, thus showing no effect on immune responses and inflammation.

Reversal of Fluconazole Resistance in Multidrug Efflux-resistant Fungi by the Dysidea Arenaria Sponge Sterol 9alpha,11alpha-epoxycholest-7-ene-3beta,5alpha,6alpha,19-tetrol 6-acetate

The sponge sterol 9alpha,11alpha-epoxycholest-7-ene-3beta,5alpha,6alpha,19-tetrol 6-acetate (ECTA) (1) is the first marine natural product to reverse fluconazole resistance mediated by a Candida albicans MDR efflux pump. The IC(50) of fluconazole is decreased from 300 to 8.5 microM (35-fold enhancement) when combined with 1(3.8 microM). A revised C-6 configuration of 1 is established.

Transport of Parthenolide Across Human Intestinal Cells (Caco-2)

This study examined the intestinal epithelial membrane transport of the sesquiterpene lactone parthenolide, a bioactive compound present in the migraine prophylactic herb feverfew. The Caco-2 human colonic cell line was used as an in vitro model of the human intestinal mucosal barrier. The bidirectional transport (apical to basolateral and basolateral to apical) of parthenolide was investigated using Caco-2 monolayers grown on Transwell inserts. Quantitation of parthenolide was performed using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Apical to basolateral and basolateral to apical permeability coefficients and percent transport were calculated and a potential bioavailability of parthenolide was determined. Sodium fluorescein was used as a marker for paracellular leakage. Parthenolide, at a concentration of 250 microM, demonstrated substantial linear transport across the monolayer. The transport parameters were not affected by the presence of MK-571, an inhibitor of multidrug resistance transporter P-glycoprotein (MRP). Upon comparison of the transport parameters of parthenolide with atenolol under identical conditions and the reported values for model compounds like mannitol and propranolol, it is concluded that parthenolide is effectively absorbed through the intestinal mucosa via a passive diffusion mechanism.

Spectrophotometric Determination of De Novo Hemozoin/beta-hematin Formation in an in Vitro Assay

Formation of hemozoin in the malaria parasite, due to its unique nature, is an attractive molecular target. Several laboratories have been trying to unravel the molecular mechanism of hemozoin biosynthesis within the parasite digestive vacuoles. Use of different assay protocols for in vitro beta-hematin (synthetic identical to hemozoin) formation by these laboratories has led to inconsistent and often contradictory findings. Much of the difficulty may be attributed to oligomeric heme aggregates, which may be indistinguishable in some detection approaches if adequate separation of beta-hemtin is not achieved. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a widely accepted protocol for in vitro beta-hematin formation. We describe here a spectrophotometric assay for in vitro beta-hematin formation. The assay has been validated with the Plasmodium falciparum lysate, the parasite lipid extracts, and some commercially available fatty acids, which are known to initiate/catalyze beta-hematin formation in vitro. The necessity for multiple wash steps for accurate quantification of de novo hemozoin/beta-hematin formation was verified experimentally. It was necessary to wash the pellet, which contains beta-hematin and heme aggregates, sequentially with Tris/SDS buffer and alkaline bicarbonate solution for complete removal of monomeric heme and heme aggregates and accurate quantification of beta-hematin formed during the assay. The pellets and side products in the supernatant were characterized by infrared spectroscopy. No beta-hematin formation occurred in the absence of a catalytic/initiating factor. Based on these findings, a filtration-based assay that uses 96-well microplates, and which has important application in in vitro screening and identification of novel inhibitors of hemozoin formation as potential blood schizontocidal antimalarials, has been developed.

Circular Dichroic Properties of Flavan-3,4-diols

CD data of the eight diastereoisomers of free phenolic and different O-derivatized analogues of a series of flavan-3,4-diols permit assignment of the absolute configuration at the stereocenters of the heterocyclic ring.

Antimalarial and Antileishmanial Activities of Aroyl-pyrrolyl-hydroxyamides, a New Class of Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors

Synthesis and Anticancer Activities of Fatty Acid Analogs of Podophyllotoxin

Derivatives of podophyllotoxin were prepared by coupling 10 FA with the C4-alpha-hydroxy function of podophyllotoxin. The coupling reactions between FA and podophyllotoxin were carried out by dicyclohexylcarbodiimide in the presence of a catalytic amount of dimethylaminopyridine to produce quantitative yields of desired products. FA incorporated were the following: 10-hydroxydecanoic, 12-hydroxydodecanoic, 15-hydroxypentadecanoic, 16-hydroxyhexadecanoic, 12-hydroxyoctadec-Z-9-enoic, eicosa-Z-5,8,11,14-tetraenoic, eicosa-Z-8,11, 14-trienoic, eicosa-Z-11,14-dienoic, eicosa-Z-11-enoic, and eicosanoic acids. Spectroscopic studies confirmed the formation of the desired products. New molecules were investigated for their in vitro anticancer activity against a panel of human cancer cell lines including SK-MEL, KB, BT-549, SK-OV-3 (solid tumors), and HL-60 (human leukemia) cells. Most of the analogs were cytotoxic against cancerous cells, whereas no effect was observed against normal cells, unlike the parent compound podophyllotoxin, the use of which is limited due to its severe side effects.

A New Antimalarial Quassinoid from Simaba Orinocensis

A new antimalarial quassinoid, namely, orinocinolide (1), was isolated from the root bark of Simaba orinocensis, together with the previously reported simalikalactone D (2). The structure of 1 was determined primarily from 1D and 2D NMR analysis, as well as by chemical derivatization. Compound 1 was found to be as equally potent as 2 against Plasmodium falciparum clones D6 and W2 (IC(50) 3.27 and 8.53 ng/mL vs 3.0 and 3.67 ng/mL, respectively), but was 4- and 28-fold less toxic than 2 against VERO cells (IC(50) 10 vs 2.3 microg/mL) and HL-60 (IC(50) 0.7 vs 0.025 microg/mL), respectively. In addition, 2 was >46- and >31-fold more potent than pentamidine and amphotericin B (IC(50) 0.035 vs 1.6 and 1.1 microg/mL) against Leishmania donovani, while 1 was inactive. Orinocinolide (1) inhibited growth of human cancer cells SK-MEL, KB, BT-549, and SK-OV-3, but was less potent than 2 (IC(50) 0.8-1.9 vs 0.3-1.0 microg/mL) against these cells.

Antifungal Cyclopentenediones from Piper Coruscans

Coruscanones A and B, two new antifungal cyclopentenedione derivatives, have been isolated from Piper coruscans and their structures elucidated by spectroscopic and chemical methods. Coruscanone A exhibits significant antifungal activity against Candida albicans and its azole-resistant strains and may serve as a template for a new class of antifungal agents.

Piperazine-linked Bisbenzamidines: a Novel Class of Antileishmanial Agents

A series of 13 1,4-diarylpiperazines has been prepared, evaluated for antileishmanial activity and their binding affinity to DNA was measured. Among these compounds, 1,4-bis[4-(1H-benzimidazol-2-yl)phenyl]piperazine (14) emerged as the most active compound with an IC(50) value of 0.41 microM which is about sevenfold more potent than pentamidine.

An Alpha-proteobacterial Type Malate Dehydrogenase May Complement LDH Function in Plasmodium Falciparum. Cloning and Biochemical Characterization of the Enzyme

Malate dehydrogenase (MDH) may be important in carbohydrate and energy metabolism in malarial parasites. The cDNA corresponding to the MDH gene, identified on chromosome 6 of the Plasmodium falciparum genome, was amplified by RT-PCR, cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant Pf MDH was purified to homogeneity and biochemically characterized as an NAD(+)(H)-specific MDH, which catalysed reversible interconversion of malate to oxaloacetate. Pf MDH could not use NADP/NADPH as a cofactor, but used acetylpyridine adenine dinucleoide, an analogue of NAD. The enzyme exhibited strict substrate and cofactor specificity. The highest levels of Pf MDH transcripts were detected in trophozoites while the Pf MDH protein level remained high in trophozoites as well as schizonts. A highly refined model of Pf MDH revealed distinct structural characteristics of substrate and cofactor binding sites and important amino acid residues lining these pockets. The active site amino acid residues involved in substrate binding were conserved in Pf MDH but the N-terminal glycine motif, which is involved in nucleotide binding, was similar to the GXGXXG signature sequence found in Pf LDH and also in alpha-proteobacterial MDHs. Oxamic acid did not inhibit Pf MDH, while gossypol, which interacts at the nucleotide binding site of oxidoreductases and shows antimalarial activity, inhibited Pf MDH also. Treatment of a synchronized culture of P. falciparum trophozoites with gossypol caused induction in expression of Pf MDH, while expression of Pf LDH was reduced and expression of malate:quinone oxidoreductase remained unchanged. Pf MDH may complement Pf LDH function of NAD/NADH coupling in malaria parasites. Thus, dual inhibitors of Pf MDH and Pf LDH may be required to target this pathway and to develop potential new antimalarial drugs.

Antimicrobial and Antileishmanial Activities of Hypocrellins A and B

Hypocrellins A and B were evaluated for in vitro antimicrobial and antileishmanial activities. Hypocrellin A exhibited promising activity against Candida albicans and moderate activity against Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant S. aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Mycobacterium intracellulare. Hypocrellin B showed weak antimicrobial activities. Hypocrellin A exhibited potent antileishmanial activity, while hypocrellin B was only moderately active. These results of promising antifungal and antileishmanial activity of hypocrellin A may be useful for further structure-activity relationship and in vivo studies.

Synthesis, Spectroscopic, and Biological Studies of Novel Estolides Derived from Anticancer Active 4-O-podophyllotoxinyl 12-hydroxyl-octadec-Z-9-enoate

Podophyllotoxin is a well-known natural antitumor agent with severe side effects, which led us to synthesize its numerous analogs in search of product(s) of improved therapeutic potential. Here, we report an efficient method for the synthesis of a series of 4-O-podophyllotoxin estolides with spectral characteristics and their biological studies. The OH of a known molecule, 4-O-podophyllotoxinyl 12-hydroxyl-octadec-Z-9-enoate 2, was coupled with the carboxylic groups of different FA with the help of dicyclohexylcarbodiimide and dimethyl aminopyridine (catalyst) to produce high yields of their respective C(4)alpha-estolides 3-11. Spectroscopic techniques, particularly 1H and 13CNMR, proved to be suitable tools to characterize the new compounds. These molecules of greater lipophilic character were tested for their in vitro cytotoxicity against four human solid tumors, one human leukemia cell, and one noncancerobu cell. Compounds 4-6 and 11 showed moderate antileukemic activity; unexpectedly, none were found to be active against solid tumors. Estolides were also investigated for their in vitro activity against tubulin and topoisomerase II proteins. All the compounds showed inhibition of the catalytic activity of topoisomerase II, whereas 6-8 also inhibited tubulin polymerization. These results suggest the need for further screening of these molecules against a larger panel of cancerous cells.

Targeting the Hemozoin Synthesis Pathway for New Antimalarial Drug Discovery: Technologies for in Vitro Beta-hematin Formation Assay

Clinical manifestations of malaria primarily result from proliferation of the parasite within the hosts' erythrocytes. During this process, hemoglobin is utilized as the predominant source of nutrition. The malaria parasite digests hemoglobin within the digestive vacuole through a sequential metabolic process involving multiple proteases. Massive degradation of hemoglobin generates large amount of toxic heme. Malaria parasite, however, has evolved a distinct mechanism for detoxification of heme through its conversion into an insoluble crystalline pigment, known as hemozoin. Hemozoin is identical to beta-hematin, which is constituted of cyclic heme dimers arranged in an ordered crystalline structure through intermolecular hydrogen bonding. The exact mechanism of biogenesis of hemozoin in malaria is still obscure and is the subject of intense debate. Hemozoin synthesis is an indispensable process for the parasite and is the target for action of several known antimalarials. The pathway has therefore attracted significant interest for new antimalarial drug discovery research. Formation of beta-hematin may be achieved in vitro under specific chemical and physiochemical conditions through a biocrystallization process. Based on these methods several experimental approaches have been described for the assay of formation of beta-hematin in vitro and screening of compounds as inhibitors of hemozoin synthesis. These assays are primarily based on differential solubility and spectral characteristics of monomeric heme and beta-hematin. Different factors viz., the malaria parasite lysate, lipids extracts, preformed beta-hematin, malarial histidine rich protein II and some unsaturated lipids have been employed for promoting beta-hematin formation in these assays. The assays based on spectrophotometric quantification of beta-hematin or incorporation of (14)C-heme yield reproducible results and have been applied to high throughput screening. Several novel antimalarial pharmacophores have been discovered through these assays.

Natural Products and Antifungal Drug Discovery

The need for new antifungal agents continues, fueled by opportunistic infections in immune-compromised patients and by the development of resistance to existing agents. Natural products offer a virtually unlimited source of unique molecules and not only serve as a reservoir for new potential drugs and drug prototypes, but also for probes of fungal biology. In this chapter, whole-cell screening methods targeted for natural products are illustrated, including general microplate-based screening, bioautography, and mode of action studies, including the use of genetically altered fungal strains now available commercially.

Identification of Bis-quindolines As New Antiinfective Agents

Several N-substituted quindolines were made to further evaluate the role of N-alkylation on the activity of indoloquinolines as antifungal agents. While N-5 substitution is required for these activities, N-10 alkylation alone leads to inactive products but is tolerated in the presence of N-5 alkyl groups. It was also discovered that bis-quindolines appear to have a more expanded antimicrobial spectrum and lower cytotoxicity than their monomeric counterparts.

Anticancer Activity and Possible Mode of Action of 4-O-podophyllotoxinyl 12-hydroxyl-octadec-Z-9-enoate

4-O-Podophyllotoxinyl 12-hydroxyl-octadec-Z-9-enoate (PHEFE) is a structurally novel FA analog of podophyllotoxin. In the present study, in vitro effects of PHEFE on a panel of 60 human tumor cell lines and its potential modes of anticancer action were investigated. PHEFE exhibited strong growth-inhibitory action in a number of solid tumor cells in vitro. It did not inhibit tubulin polymerization as podophyllotoxin does; rather, it inhibited the catalytic activity of topoisomerase II. Flow cytometry and staining assay with 4,6-diamidine-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride showed that PHEFE blocked the cell cycle at the G2/M phase and induced apoptosis in HL-60 cells. These analyses suggest that PHEFE has promising anticancer characteristics that differ from podophyllotoxin and etoposide.

Synthesis and in Vitro Cytotoxic Activity of N-, F-, and S-ether Derivatives of Podophyllotoxin Fatty Acid Adducts

This paper represents the first synthesis, spectroscopic characterization, and antitumor evaluation of F-, N-, and S-containing C4alpha-FA derivatives of podophyllotoxin. In a synthetic strategy, a FA unit of 4-O-podophyllotoxinyl 12-hydroxyoctadec-Z-9-enoate 2, a derivative of podophyllotoxin, was functionalized at the C-12 position by incorporating the F atom and N-containing moieties. The FA olefin (Z, C-9/C-10) of 2 was hydrogenated to produce a derivative possessing a hydroxy function (C-12) on a saturated C18 FA chain. In another synthetic strategy, two S-ethers of podophyllotoxin (C4alpha) were synthesized from a terminal unsaturated FA analog, 4-O-podophyllotoxinyl undec-10-enoate. Syntheses were achieved through effective synthetic procedures; 1H NMR, 13C NMR, IR, and high-resolution mass data proved excellent tools to characterize these derivatives. In vitro antitumor activity was investigated against a panel of five human neoplastic cell lines, SK-MEL (malignant, melanoma), KB (epidermal carcinoma, oral), BT-549 (ductal carcinoma, breast), SK-OV-3 (ovary carcinoma), and HL-60 (human leukemia). Keeping in view the severe lack of tumor selectivity of podophyllotoxin over normal cells, we assayed new analogs against noncancerous mammalian VERO (African green monkey kidney fibroblast) cell lines to gauge their extent of toxicity. Several of these compounds showed excellent moderation of antitumor activity. In general, we found excellent growth inhibition against the human leukemia cell line (HL-60), particularly for the analogs containing S-ethers and carbamates. None of the compounds were toxic to normal cell lines.

Phenolic Glycosides from Potalia Amara

Investigation of the stem bark of the unique Amazonian herbal plant Potalia amara yielded two new phenolic glycosides, potalioside A (1) and B (2), along with di-O-methylcrenatin (3), 2,6-dimethoxy-4-hydroxyphenol 1-glucoside and sweroside. The structures of potalioside A and B were established by interpretation of spectral data as 4-hydroxymethyl-2,6-dimethoxyphenyl 1-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl(1-->6)-beta-D-glucopyranoside and 4-hydroxymethyl-2,6-dimethoxyphenyl 1-O-beta- D-xylopyranosyl(1-->6)- beta-D-glucopyranoside, respectively.

Antimycotic Drug Discovery in the Age of Genomics

Genomic-based methodologies are increasingly used at all stages of drug development. The most extensive applications have occurred in early drug discovery stages due to advances in technologies that allow for automated synthesis and characterization of organic compounds, and for high-throughput screening of these molecules against known drug targets. The adaptation of genomic-based methodologies in later stages of drug development presents a more difficult task. In this review we describe how genomics can be used to identify previously uncharacterized pharmacologic actions that provide a basis for the development of new classes of antimycotic agents or for adverse event aversion. Clinically, novel antimycotics are gravely needed. This review provides a perspective on new technologies that will bridge the gap between drug discovery and development that may enable more rapid access to new antimycotic agents.

8-Aminoquinolines: Future Role As Antiprotozoal Drugs

This review focuses on recent developments on evaluation of 8-aminoquinoline analogs with broader efficacy and reduced toxicity, which would provide better drugs for treatment of protozoal infections.

Growth, Drug Susceptibility, and Gene Expression Profiling of Plasmodium Falciparum Cultured in Medium Supplemented with Human Serum or Lipid-rich Bovine Serum Albumin [corrected]

In vitro cultivation of Plasmodium falciparum has been extremely useful in understanding the biology of the human malaria parasite as well as research on the discovery of new antimalarial drugs and vaccines. A chemically defined serum-free medium supplemented with lipid-rich bovine serum albumin (AlbuMAX I) offers the following advantages over human serum-supplemented media for the in vitro culture of P. falciparum: 1) improved growth profile, with more than a 2-fold higher yield of the parasites at any stage of the growth cycle; 2) suitability for in vitro antimalarial screening, as the parasites grown in AlbuMAX and human serum-supplemented media show similar sensitivity to standard and novel antimalarials as well as natural product extracts in the in vitro drug susceptibility assays; and 3) DNA microarray analysis comparing the global gene expression profile of sorbitol-synchronized P. falciparum trophozoites grown in the 2 different media, indicating minimal differences.

Role of Heme in the Antifungal Activity of the Azaoxoaporphine Alkaloid Sampangine

Sampangine, a plant-derived alkaloid found in the Annonaceae family, exhibits strong inhibitory activity against the opportunistic fungal pathogens Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Aspergillus fumigatus. In the present study, transcriptional profiling experiments coupled with analyses of mutants were performed in an effort to elucidate its mechanism of action. Using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism, we show that sampangine produces a transcriptional response indicative of hypoxia, altering the expression of genes known to respond to low-oxygen conditions. Several additional lines of evidence obtained suggest that these responses could involve effects on heme. First, the hem1Delta mutant lacking the first enzyme in the heme biosynthetic pathway showed increased sensitivity to sampangine, and exogenously supplied hemin partially rescued the inhibitory activity of sampangine in wild-type cells. In addition, heterozygous mutants with deletions in genes involved in five out of eight steps in the heme biosynthetic pathway showed increased susceptibility to sampangine. Furthermore, spectral analyses of pyridine extracts indicated significant accumulation of free porphyrins in sampangine-treated cells. Transcriptional profiling experiments were also performed with C. albicans to investigate the response of a pathogenic fungal species to sampangine. Taking into account the known differences in the physiological responses of C. albicans and S. cerevisiae to low oxygen, significant correlations were observed between the two transcription profiles, suggestive of heme-related defects. Our results indicate that the antifungal activity of the plant alkaloid sampangine is due, at least in part, to perturbations in the biosynthesis or metabolism of heme.

Transport of Schisandra Chinensis Extract and Its Biologically-active Constituents Across Caco-2 Cell Monolayers - an In-vitro Model of Intestinal Transport

We have determined the intestinal transport of Schisandra chinensis extract and its lignans (gomisin A, gomisin N and schisandrin C) in the Caco-2 cell monolayer model. The transport across monolayers was examined for 2 h in absorptive and secretory directions. Quantitation of lignans was performed by HPLC. Out of the three lignans, gomisin A exhibited bi-directional transport, with P(app) values in the range of 25-29 x 10(-6) cm s(-1), indicating a passive diffusion. Gomisin N, mixture and Schisandra extract displayed a higher transport in the secretory direction with efflux ratios in the range of 2.2-5.2. The efflux was decreased in the presence of inhibitors of multidrug resistance protein (MRP) transporter (MK-571) and P-glycoprotein (verapamil) indicating a possible involvement of an efflux pump and MRP in the transport of Schisandra lignans. Poor transport of schisandrin C was observed which could not be quantitated. The permeability of gomisin A in the isolated form was significantly different compared with the mixture or extract.

Antiparasitic Activities and Toxicities of Individual Enantiomers of the 8-aminoquinoline 8-[(4-amino-1-methylbutyl)amino]-6-methoxy-4-methyl-5-[3,4-dichlorophenoxy]quinoline Succinate

8-Aminoquinolines are an important class of antiparasitic agents, with broad utility and excellent efficacy, but also limitations due to hematological toxicities, primarily methemoglobinemia and hemolysis. One representative from this class, (+/-)-8-[(4-amino-1-methylbutyl)amino]-6-methoxy-4-methyl-5-[3,4-dichlorophenoxy]quinoline succinate (NPC1161C), proved extremely efficacious in animal models of malaria and pneumocystis pneumonia. This racemic mixture was separated into its component enantiomers by chemical and chromatographic means. The enantiomers were evaluated for antiparasitic activity in murine models of Plasmodium berghei, Pneumocystis carinii, and Leishmania donovani infection, as well as the propensity to elicit hematotoxicity in dogs. The (-)-enantiomer NPC1161B was found to be more active (by severalfold, depending on the dosing regimen) than the (+)-enantiomer NPC1161A in all of these murine models. In addition, the (-) enantiomer showed markedly reduced general toxicity in mice and reduced hematotoxicity in the dog model of methemoglobinemia. It is concluded that the configuration at the asymmetric center in the 8-amino side chain differentially affects efficacy and toxicity profiles and thus may be an important determinant of the "therapeutic window" for compounds in this class.

Antioxidant Constituents of Nymphaea Caerulea Flowers

As part of an ongoing search for antioxidants from medicinal plants, 20 constituents were isolated from the Nymphaea caerulea flowers, including two 2S,3S,4S-trihydroxypentanoic acid (1), and myricetin 3-O-(3''-O-acetyl)-alpha-L-rhamnoside (2), along with the known myricetin 3-O-alpha-L-rhamnoside (3), myricetin 3-O-beta-D-glucoside (4), quercetin 3-O-(3''-O-acetyl)-alpha-L-rhamnoside (5), quercetin 3-O-alpha-L-rhamnoside (6), quercetin 3-O-beta-D-glucoside (7), kaempferol 3-O-(3''-O-acetyl)-alpha-L-rhamnoside (8), kaempferol 3-O-beta-D-glucoside (9), naringenin (10), (S)-naringenin 5-O-beta-D-glucoside (11), isosalipurposide (12), beta-sitosterol (13), beta-sitosterol palmitate (14), 24-methylenecholesterol palmitate (15), 4alpha-methyl-5alpha-ergosta-7,24(28)-diene-3beta,4beta-diol (16), ethyl gallate (17), gallic acid (18), p-coumaric acid (19), and 4-methoxybenzoic acid (20). The structures were determined by spectroscopic means. Compounds were tested for antioxidant activity and nine compounds 2-7, 11, 12 and 18 were considered active with IC(50) of 1.16, 4.1, 0.75, 1.7, 1.0, 0.34, 11.0, 1.7 and 0.95 microg/ml, respectively, while 1 was marginally active (IC(50)>31.25 microg/ml). The most promising activity was found in the EtOAc fraction (IC(50) 0.2 microg/ml). This can be attributed to the synergistic effect of the compounds present in it.

In Vitro Metabolic Stability and Intestinal Transport of P57AS3 (P57) from Hoodia Gordonii and Its Interaction with Drug Metabolizing Enzymes

Hoodia gordonii, a succulent cactus-like plant growing in South Africa, has been used in traditional medicine for its appetite suppressant properties. Its use as a dietary supplement to promote weight loss has recently gained popularity. An oxypregnane steroidal glycoside P57AS3 (P57) is reported to be the active constituent of the sap extract responsible for anorexigenic activity. No information is available about its metabolic stability, intestinal transport and interaction with drug metabolizing enzymes. In the present investigation, the metabolic stability of P57 in human liver microsomes and its interaction with drug metabolizing enzymes (CYP1A2, 2C9, 3A4 and 2D6) were determined. Intestinal transport of P57 was studied in the Caco-2 cell model of intestinal transport and absorption. P57 was metabolically stable in the presence of human liver microsomes. The compound inhibited CYP3A4 activity with an IC50 value of 45 microM, whereas the activity of CYP 1A2, 2C9 and 2D6 was not inhibited. In the Caco-2 model, P57 exhibited a higher transport in the secretory direction than in the absorptive direction with efflux ratios of 3.1 and 3.8 at 100 and 200 microM, respectively. The efflux was inhibited by selective inhibitors of multidrug resistance associated proteins MRP1/MRP2 (MK-571) and P-gp (verapamil). In conclusion, intestinal transport of P57 was mediated by P-gp and MRP transporters. The compound was metabolically stable and showed weak inhibition of CYP 3A4.

New Labdane Diterpenes from Leonurus Cardiaca

Leonurus cardiaca L. has been used in oriental medicine against several types of disorders. The ethanolic extract of leaves of Leonurus cardiaca yielded three new labdane-type diterpenes: 15- O-ethylleopersin C (1), 15- O-methylleopersin C (2), and 15- EPI- O-methylleopersin C (3). Their structures were determined using 1 D and 2 D NMR including 1H-1H COSY, HMQC, HMBC, and ROESY spectroscopic techniques. Compounds (1 - 3) were evaluated for in vitro antiplasmodial activity (D6 and W2 clones) and cytotoxicity (Vero cells).

Indolizidine, Antiinfective and Antiparasitic Compounds from Prosopis Glandulosa Var. Glandulosa

A new potent antiinfective and antiparasitic 2,3-dihydro-1H-indolizinium chloride (1) was isolated from Prosopis glandulosa var. glandulosa. Three additional new (2-4) and one known (5) indolizidines were also isolated, and the dihydrochloride salts of 1-3 (compounds 6, 7, and 8) were prepared. Structures were determined by 1D and 2D NMR and mass spectra. Compound 1 showed potent in vitro antifungal activity against Cryptococcus neoformans and Aspergillus fumigatus (IC(50) values = 0.4 and 3.0 microg/mL, respectively) and antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium intracellulare (IC(50) values of 0.35 and 0.9 microg/mL, respectively). The remarkable in vitro fungicidal activity of 1-4 against C. neoformans (MFCs = 0.63-1.25 microg/mL) and 2, 3, and 5 against A. fumigatus (MFCs = 0.63-2.5 microg/mL) were similar to amphotericin B, but >2-4-fold more potent than 6-8. Prosopilosidine (1) showed potent in vivo activity at 0.0625 mg/kg/day/ip for 5 days in a murine model of cryptococcosis by eliminating approximately 76% of C. neoformans infection from brain tissue compared to approximately 83% with amphotericin B at 1.5 mg/kg/day. Compounds 1 and 4 exhibited potent activity and high selectivity index (SI) values against chloroquine-sensitive (D6) and chloroquine-resistant (W2) strains of Plasmodium falciparum, with IC(50) values of 39 and 95 ng/mL and 42 and 120 ng/mL, respectively (chloroquine, IC(50) = 17 and 140 ng/mL). Prosopilosine (1) also showed in vivo antimalarial activity, with an ED(50) value of approximately 2 mg/kg/day/ip against Plasmodium berghei-infected mice after 3 days of treatment.

Alkaloids and Saponins As Cytochrome P450 Inhibitors from Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum Thalictroides) in an in Vitro Assay

Blue cohosh, Caulophyllum thalictroides (L.) Michx. is a popular herb, roots and rhizomes of which have been extensively used for women's health. Alkaloids and saponins are considered to be responsible for its pharmacological effects. In this investigation the methanolic extract of the roots of blue cohosh, the alkaloidal fraction and isolated constituents were evaluated for their inhibition of major drug metabolizing cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes. The methanolic extract did not show any effect but the alkaloidal fraction showed a strong inhibition of CYP 2C19, 3A4, 2D6, and 1A2 (>80% inhibition at 100 microg/mL) with IC50 values in the range of 2-20 microg/mL. Among the isolated alkaloids, a piperidine-type alkaloid (caulophyllumine B) and three lysine-derived alkaloids (O-acetlybaptifolin, anagyrine, and lupanine) inhibited these enzymes to various extents (IC50:2.5-50 microM). N-Methylcytisine weakly inhibited CYP3A4 only (32% inhibition at 100 microM). An equimolar mixture of alkaloids exhibited a more pronounced inhibitory effect on all four enzymes as compared to the isolated alkaloids. Among the saponins, caulosides C and D inhibited CYP3A4 at the highest test concentration of 100 microM (43% and 35% inhibition, respectively). Other enzymes were not affected. This in vitro study indicates that dietary supplements containing blue cohosh may pose a risk of drug-drug interactions if taken with other drugs or herbs, metabolism of which involves CYP450 enzymes.

Analysis of Quaternary Structure of a [LDH-like] Malate Dehydrogenase of Plasmodium Falciparum with Oligomeric Mutants

L-Malate dehydrogenase (PfMDH) from Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent for the most severe form of malaria, has shown remarkable similarities to L: -lactate dehydrogenase (PfLDH). PfMDH is more closely related to [LDH-like] MDHs characterized in archae and other prokaryotes. Initial sequence analysis and identification of critical amino acid residues involved in inter-subunit salt-bridge interactions predict tetrameric structure for PfMDH. The catalytically active recombinant PfMDH was characterized as a tetramer. The enzyme is localized primarily in the parasites cytosol. To gain molecular insights into PfMDH/PfLDH relationships and to understand the quaternary structure of PfMDH, dimers were generated by mutation to the potential salt-bridge interacting sites. The R183A and R214G mutations, which snapped the salt bridges between the dimers and resulted in lower dimeric state, did not affect catalytic properties of the enzyme. The mutant dimers of PfMDH were active equally as the wild-type PfMDH. The studies reveal structure of PfMDH as a dimer of dimers. The tetrameric state of PfMDH was not essential for catalytic functions of the enzyme but may be an evolutionary adaptation for cytosolic localization to support its role in NAD/NADH coupling, an important metabolic function for survival of the malaria parasite.

Bioactive (+)-manzamine A and (+)-8-hydroxymanzamine A Tertiary Bases and Salts from Acanthostrongylophora Ingens and Their Preparations

The genus Acanthostrongylophora is famous for producing a wide array of manzamine alkaloids as natural hydrochloride salts. An examination of A. ingens has now yielded two tertiary bases, (+)-8-hydroxymanzamine A (1) and (+)-manzamine A (2), by chromatography over alumina using CHCl3-MeOH-NH3.H2O as solvent. In addition, (+)-8-hydroxymanzamine A hydrochloride (3) and (+)-manzamine A hydrochloride (4) were isolated under the same conditions from the same source by silica gel chromatography. The structures of 1-4 were determined from 1D- and 2D-NMR spectra and by circular dichroism experiments, and the spectral features of the bases 1 and 2 were found to be different from those of the salts 3 and 4. Compounds 3 and 4 were deprotonated by both A12O3 and strong base to afford 1 and 2, which were converted again to their respective salts 3 and 4. Both the compounds 1 and 3 showed equally potent in vitro antimalarial activity against chloroquine-sensitive (D6) and -resistant (W2) strains of P. falciparum (IC50 = 19.5 and 22.0 ng/mL vs. 27.0 and 36.5 ng/mL, respectively), while 2 was >3-fold less potent than 4 (IC50 = 20.8 and 25.8 ng/mL vs. 6.1 and 7.3 ng/mL, respectively). Compounds 1, 3 and 4 showed good antimicrobial activities against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium intracellulare and antileishmanial activity against Leishmania donovani promastigotes. In contrast, manzamine A base (2) showed relatively weaker antimicrobial, antileishmanial and cytotoxic activities [towards cancer (HepG2: Human hepatocellular carcinoma or hepatoma), and non-cancer cells (VERO: Monkey kidney fibroblast; LLC-PK11: Pig kidney epithelial)], compared with salt 4.

Cytochrome P(450)-dependent Toxic Effects of Primaquine on Human Erythrocytes

Primaquine, an 8-aminoquinoline, is the drug of choice for radical cure of relapsing malaria. Use of primaquine is limited due to its hemotoxicity, particularly in populations with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency [G6PD(-)]. Biotransformation appears to be central to the anti-infective and hematological toxicities of primaquine, but the mechanisms are still not well understood. Metabolic studies with primaquine have been hampered due to the reactive nature of potential hemotoxic metabolites. An in vitro metabolism-linked hemotoxicity assay has been developed. Co-incubation of the drug with normal or G6PD(-) erythrocytes, microsomes or recombinant cytochrome P(450) (CYP) isoforms has allowed in situ generation of potential hemotoxic metabolite(s), which interact with the erythrocytes to generate hemotoxicity. Methemoglobin formation, real-time generation of reactive oxygen intermediates (ROIs) and depletion of reactive thiols were monitored as multiple biochemical end points for hemotoxicity. Primaquine alone did not produce any hemotoxicity, while a robust increase was observed in methemoglobin formation and generation of ROIs by primaquine in the presence of human or mouse liver microsomes. Multiple CYP isoforms (CYP2E1, CYP2B6, CYP1A2, CYP2D6 and CYP3A4) variably contributed to the hemotoxicity of primaquine. This was further confirmed by significant inhibition of primaquine hemotoxicity by the selective CYP inhibitors, namely thiotepa (CYP2B6), fluoxetine (CYP2D6) and troleandomycin (CYP3A4). Primaquine caused similar methemoglobin formation in G6PD(-) and normal human erythrocytes. However, G6PD(-) erythrocytes suffered higher oxidative stress and depletion of thiols than normal erythrocytes due to primaquine toxicity. The results provide significant insights regarding CYP isoforms contributing to hemotoxicity and may be useful in controlling toxicity of primaquine to increase its therapeutic utility.

Antimicrobial, Antiparasitic and Cytotoxic Spermine Alkaloids from Albizia Schimperiana

Albizia schimperiana Oliv. (Leguminosae) is a tree distributed in the highland of Kenya, where it is used as a traditional medicine for the treatment of bacterial and parasitic infections, notably pneumonia and malaria, respectively. Bioassay guided isolation of the CH2Cl2-MeOH 1:1/ MeOH-H20 9:1 (mixed) extract of A. schimperiana afforded the new bioactive macrocyclic spermine alkaloid, namely 5,14-dimethylbudmunchiamine L1 (1) and three known budmunchiamine analogs 2-4. The structures of the compounds 1-4 were determined by 1D and 2D NMR data, including COSY, HMQC, and HMBC experiments, and ESI-HRMS. Compounds 1 and 3 exhibited significant in vitro antimicrobial activity against a panel of microorganisms, including C neoformans, methicillin-resistant S. aureus, E. coli, M. intracellulare, and A. fumigatus. In Saddition, they demonstrated strong in vitro antimalarial activities against chloroquine-susceptible (D6) and -resistant (W2) strains of Plasmodium falciparum with IC50s ranging from 120-270 ng/mL. Compounds 1-4 were also evaluated for cytotoxic activity against selected human cancer cell lines and mammalian kidney fibroblasts (VERO cells). It was observed that hydroxyl substitution of the side chain of the budmunchiamines dramatically reduced the cytotoxicity and antimicrobial activity of the alkaloids 2 and 4 without decreasing antimalarial activity.

Structure and Function of Plasmodium Falciparum Malate Dehydrogenase: Role of Critical Amino Acids in Co-substrate Binding Pocket

The malaria parasite thrives on anaerobic fermentation of glucose for energy. Earlier studies from our laboratory have demonstrated that a cytosolic malate dehydrogenase (PfMDH) with striking similarity to lactate dehydrogenase (PfLDH) might complement PfLDH function in Plasmodium falciparum. The N-terminal glycine motif, which forms a characteristic Rossman dinucleotide-binding fold in the co-substrate binding pocket, differentiates PfMDH (GlyXGlyXXGly) from other eukaryotic and prokaryotic malate dehydrogenases (GlyXXGlyXXGly). The amino acids lining the co-substrate binding pocket are completely conserved in MDHs from different species of human, primate and rodent malaria parasites. Based on this knowledge and conserved domains among prokaryotic and eukaryotic MDH, the role of critical amino acids lining the co-substrate binding pocket was analyzed in catalytic functions of PfMDH using site-directed mutagenesis. Insertion of Ala at the 9th or 10th position, which converts the N-terminal GlyXGlyXXGly motif (characteristic of malarial MDH and LDH) to GlyXXGlyXXGly (as in bacterial and eukaryotic MDH), uncoupled regulation of the enzyme through substrate inhibition. The dinucleotide fold GlyXGlyXXGly motif seems not to be responsible for the distinct affinity of PfMDH to 3-acetylpyridine-adenine dinucleotide (APAD, a synthetic analog of NAD), since Ala9 and Ala10 insertion mutants still utilized APADH. The Gln11Met mutation, which converts the signature glycine motif in PfMDH to that of PfLDH, did not change the enzyme function. However, the Gln11Gly mutant showed approximately a 5-fold increase in catalytic activity, and higher susceptibility to inhibition with gossypol. Asn119 and His174 participate in binding of both co-substrate and substrate. The Asn119Gly mutant exhibited approximately a 3-fold decrease in catalytic efficiency, while mutation of His174 to Asn or Ala resulted in an inactive enzyme. These studies provide critical insights into the co-substrate binding pocket of PfMDH, which may be important in design of selective PfMDH/PfLDH inhibitors as potential antimalarials.

Characterization of in Vitro Pharmacokinetic Properties of Hoodigogenin A from Hoodia Gordonii

This study was aimed to predict the pharmacokinetic properties of hoodigogenin A, which is the aglycone of the oxypregnane steroidal glycoside P57AS3 (P57) isolated from Hoodia gordonii. A series of in vitro assays was used to predict its gastric, intestinal and metabolic stability, intestinal and blood brain barrier (BBB) transport, protein binding and interaction with major drug metabolising enzymes. In the simulated gastric fluid, hoodigogenin A was stable (2 % degradation in 60 minutes) whereas P57 was unstable (45 % degradation in 30 minutes). In simulated intestinal fluid, P57 was degraded to an extent of 8 % in 180 minutes, while hoodigogenin A was stable. Hoodigogenin A was efficiently transported by passive diffusion across Caco-2 and MDR1-MDCK monolayers with P(app) values in the range of 32 x 10(-6) cm/sec and 22 x 10(-6) cm/sec, respectively. The compound was metabolically unstable in human liver microsomes and S9 fractions with a CL' (int) of 71 and 120 mL/min/kg, respectively and was bound to the plasma proteins to an extent of 92 %. The compound strongly inhibited CYP3A4 activity (IC(50) 3 microM), indicating a possibility of drug-herb/botanical interactions when products containing H. gordonii are used simultaneously with other botanicals/herbs/drugs.

Cytochrome P450-dependent Toxicity of Dapsone in Human Erythrocytes

The most prominent adverse effects seen during treatment with dapsone, an antibacterial and antiprotozoal agent, are hemolysis and methemoglobinemia. An in vitro microsomal/cytochrome P(450) (CYP)-linked assay, which allows reactive metabolites generated in situ to react with the co-incubated human erythrocytes, was employed to profile CYP isoforms responsible for hemotoxicity of dapsone. Dapsone caused a robust generation of methemoglobin in human erythrocytes in the presence of human/mouse liver microsomes, which indicates contribution of CYP-mediated metabolism for hemotoxicity. The highest methemoglobin formation with dapsone was observed with CYP2C19, with minor contributions from CYP2B6, CYP2D6 and CYP3A4. Cimetidine and chloramphenicol completely abrogated methemoglobin generation by dapsone, thus confirming a predominant contribution of CYP2C19. The results provide useful insights into CYP-dependent hemotoxicity of dapsone in human erythrocytes.

Selective Inhibition of Human Leukemia Cell Growth and Induction of Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis by Pseudolaric Acid B

The leukemias account for the largest number of cases of childhood cancer and remain the primary cause of cancer-related mortality among children in the United States. There is a need for novel antileukemia agents due to toxicity and resistant to existing chemotherapeutic agents. In this study, the effects of pseudolaric acid B (PAB) on three human leukemia cell lines, acute promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells, acute lymphoblastic leukemia CCRF-CEM cells, and human chronic myeloid leukemia blast-phase K562 cells were investigated in vitro, compared to normal human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).

Bioavailability, Pharmacokinetics, and Tissue Distribution of the Oxypregnane Steroidal Glycoside P57AS3 (P57) from Hoodia Gordonii in Mouse Model

P57AS3 (P57), an oxypregnane steroidal glycoside, is known to be responsible for the appetite suppressing activity of HOODIA GORDONII, a dietary supplement used for weight loss. In this study, bioavailability, pharmacokinetics, and tissue distribution of P57 were determined in CD1 female mice after administration of a single dose of enriched methanolic extract of HOODIA GORDONII (equivalent to a dose of 25 mg of P57/kg) by oral gavage or a single dose of purified P57 (25 mg/kg) intravenously. The level of P57 in plasma and tissues (brain, liver, kidney, and intestine) was determined by UPLC-MS. After oral administration of HOODIA extract, the peak plasma level of P57 was achieved in 0.6 h. Upon intravenous administration, the plasma clearance rate of P57 was 1.09 L/h/kg. P57 was rapidly distributed and eliminated from the tissues within 4 hours. The level of tissue distribution was highest in the kidney followed by liver and brain. Upon oral administration, P57 was not detected in the brain and a very low concentration was seen in the intestine, kidney, and liver. Tissue/plasma ratio was 0.33 for brain, 0.57 for liver, and 0.75 for kidney with IV route and 0.11 for intestine, 0.02 for liver, and 0.04 for kidney with oral route. The half-life of the elimination phase was similar with both routes. The oral bioavailability was 47.5 % and the half-life of the absorption phase was 0.13 h. In conclusion, P57 showed moderate bioavailability and was eliminated rapidly.

How Physicians Should Evaluate Dietary Supplements

Dietary supplements occupy a unique niche within the realm of modern medicine. These products are often used by patients at their own discretion, in an unmonitored setting, and without the input of their physicians. Although laws pertaining to dietary supplement labeling prohibit specific claims for the treatment or prevention of disease, these products are widely used as "alternative" or "complementary" therapy. Dietary supplements are readily available, not classified as over-the-counter medications, and not regulated as such. Patients and providers alike often assume these products are at least safe and possibly effective. Historically, dietary supplement pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic data have been limited and of meager quality. Information on dietary supplements in nonmedical literature is typically unreliable, and even in the medical literature, numerous studies have used products that were not well characterized. Although greater attention has recently focused on dietary supplement quality and integrity, complex issues persist and must be addressed when evaluating literature and advising patients. We seek to clarify many of these issues and make practical suggestions for the clinician.

Antimicrobial and Antiparasitic Abietane Diterpenoids from the Roots of Clerodendrum Eriophyllum

Chromatographic separation of the roots of a Kenyan medicinal plant, Clerodendrum eriophyllum, led to the isolation of ten abietane diterpenoids (1-10), one of which (1) was isolated for the first time from a natural source. Using spectroscopic data, the structure of 1 was determined to be 12-hydroxy-8,12-abietadiene-3,11,14-trione. Circular dichroism (CD) spectra showed that the stereochemistry of compounds 1, 3, and 6-8 belongs to the normal series of abietane diterpenes, which confirmed the absolute stereochemistry of the isolated compounds. Compounds 1-10 were evaluated for their in vitro antiplasmodial, antileishmanial, antifungal and antibacterial activities. Compounds 3 and 7 exhibited potent antifungal activity (IC50/MIC 0.58/1.25 and 0.96/2.5 microg/mL, respectively) against C. neoformans, whereas 3, 6 and 7 showed strong antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus with IC50/MIC values between 1.33-1.75/2.5-5 and 0.96-1.56/2.5 microg/mL, respectively. In addition, compounds 3 and 9 exhibited potent antileishmanial activity (IC50 0.08 and 0.20 microg/mL, respectively) against L. donovani, while 3 and 7 displayed weak antimalarial activity against Plasmodium falciparum, but 9 was inactive.

Analysis of Primaquine and Its Metabolite Carboxyprimaquine in Biological Samples: Enantiomeric Separation, Method Validation and Quantification

The clinical formulation of primaquine (PQ) is a mixture of (-)-(R)- and (+)-(S)- primaquine enantiomers which may show different pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties. To assess the efficacy and toxicity of primaquine enantiomers, a method using LC-MSD-TOF has been developed. The enantiomers were well separated using a Chiralcel OD column (250 × 4.6 mm, 10 µm) with a linear gradient of mobile phase consisting of acetonitrile (0.1% formic acid) and aqueous ammonium formate (20 mm; 0.1% formic acid) adjusted to pH 5.9 at a flow rate of 0.7 mL/min. The method was validated for linearity, precision, accuracy and limits of detection and quantification. The calibration curves were linear with all correlation coefficients being >0.999. The average recoveries of (-)-(R)- and (+)-(S)-primaquine and (-)-(R)- and (+)-(S)-carboxyprimaquine were 88 and 92%, respectively, in spiked human plasma and 89 and 93% respectively in spiked mouse plasma samples. The RSD of (-)-(R)- and (+)-(S)-primaquine and (-)-(R)- and (+)-(S)-carboxyprimaquine were 2.15, 1.74, 1.73 and 2.31, respectively, in spiked human plasma and 2.21, 1.09, 1.95 and 1.17% in spiked mouse plasma, respectively. The intra-day and inter-day precisions expressed as RSD were lower than 10% in all analyzed quality control levels. The method as reported is suitable for study of the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of the enantiomers of primaquine. The method was successfully applied to study plasma pharmacokinetic profile of enantiomers of primaquine and carboxyprimaquine in mice administered with primaquine in racemic form. The analytical method was found to be linear, accurate, precise and specific.

Identification of 3-phenylaminoquinolinium and 3-phenylaminopyridinium Salts As New Agents Against Opportunistic Fungal Pathogens

Previous studies on the indoloquinoline alkaloid, cryptolepine (2), revealed that it has antii-nfective properties among other activities. Using Structure-activity relationship (SAR) techniques, several ring-opened analogs of cryptolepine (3-phenylaminopyridinium and 3-phenylaminoquinolinium derivatives) were designed to improve the potency and lower the cytotoxicity shown by several of the precursor agents. Results indicate that these ring-opened analogs constitute new anti-infective agents with over a 100-fold potency and several fold lower cytotoxicity than cryptolepine from which they are derived.

Benzothieno[3,2-b]quinolinium and 3-(phenylthio)quinolinium Compounds: Synthesis and Evaluation Against Opportunistic Fungal Pathogens

Substitution around 5-methyl benzothieno[3,2-b]quinolinium (2) ring system was explored in order to identify positions of substitution that could improve its antifungal profile. The 3-methoxy (10b) was active against C. albicans, C. neoformans, and A. fumigatus and the 4-chloro (10f) analog showed moderate increases in anti-cryptococcal and anti-aspergillus activities. The effectiveness of 10b and 10f were validated in murine models of candidiasis and cryptococcosis, respectively. The efficacy of 10f in reducing brain cryptococcal infection and its observation in the brain of mice injected with this quaternary compound confirm the capacity of these compounds to cross the blood-brain barrier of mice. Overall, several of the chloro and methoxy substituted compounds showed significant improvements in activity against A. fumigatus, the fungal pathogen prevalent in patients receiving organ transplant. Opening the benzothiophene ring of 2 to form 1-(5-cyclohexylpentyl)-3-(phenylthio)quinolinium compound (3) resulted in the identification of several novel compounds with over 50-fold increases in potency (cf. 2) while retaining low cytotoxicities. Thus, compound 3 constitutes a new scaffold for development of drugs against opportunistic infections.

Methemoglobinemia Caused by 8-aminoquinoline Drugs: DFT Calculations Suggest an Analogy to H4B's Role in Nitric Oxide Synthase

We suggest a possible mechanism of how 8-aminoquinolines (8-AQ's) cause hemotoxicity by oxidizing hemoglobin to methemoglobin. In our DFT calculations, we found that 5-hydroxyprimaquine is able to donate an electron to O(2) to facilitate its conversion to H(2)O(2). Meanwhile, Fe(II) is oxidized to Fe(III) and methemoglobin is formed. In this mechanism, the 8-AQ drug plays a similar role as that of H(4)B in nitric oxide synthase. Furthermore, our study offers an approach to inform the design of less toxic antimalarial drugs.

Oxidized Low-density Lipoprotein and Tissue Factor Are Involved in Monocrotaline/lipopolysaccharide-induced Hepatotoxicity

These studies were aimed at characterizing an animal model of inflammation-induced hepatotoxicity that would mimic features of idiosyncratic liver toxicity observed in humans. An attempt was made to identify oxidative damage and the involvement of coagulation system in liver after monocrotaline (MCT) administration under the modest inflammatory condition induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure. Mice were given MCT (200 mg/kg) or an equivalent volume of sterile saline (Veh.) po followed 4 h later by ip injection of LPS (6 mg/kg) or vehicle. Mice co-treated with MCT and LPS showed increased plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT), decrease in platelet number, and a reduction in hematocrit. Accumulation of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) was remarkably higher in the liver sections of mice co-treated with MCT and LPS compared to those given MCT or LPS alone. A similar trend was observed in the expression of CXCL16 receptor in the same liver sections. Elevated expression of tissue factor (TF) and fibrinogen was also observed in the liver sections of MCT/LPS co-treated mice. The in vitro results showed that incubation of HepG2 cells with CXCL16 antibody strongly diminished uptake of ox-LDL. Expression of ox-LDL, CXCL16, and TF represents an early event in the onset of hepatotoxicity induced by MCT/LPS; thus, it may contribute to our understanding of idiosyncratic liver injury and points to potential targets for protection or intervention.

The Marine Sponge-derived Polyketide Endoperoxide Plakortide F Acid Mediates Its Antifungal Activity by Interfering with Calcium Homeostasis

Plakortide F acid (PFA), a marine-derived polyketide endoperoxide, exhibits strong inhibitory activity against the opportunistic fungal pathogens Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Aspergillus fumigatus. In the present study, transcriptional profiling coupled with mutant and biochemical analyses were conducted using the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae to investigate the mechanism of action of this compound. PFA elicited a transcriptome response indicative of a Ca(2+) imbalance, affecting the expression of genes known to be responsive to altered cellular calcium levels. Several additional lines of evidence obtained supported a role for Ca(2+) in PFA's activity. First, mutants lacking calcineurin and various Ca(2+) transporters, including pumps (Pmr1 and Pmc1) and channels (Cch1 and Mid1), showed increased sensitivity to PFA. In addition, the calcineurin inhibitors FK506 and cyclosporine strongly enhanced PFA activity in wild-type cells. Furthermore, PFA activated the transcription of a lacZ reporter gene driven by the calcineurin-dependent response element. Finally, elemental analysis indicated a significant increase in intracellular calcium levels in PFA-treated cells. Collectively, our results demonstrate that PFA mediates its antifungal activity by perturbing Ca(2+) homeostasis, thus representing a potentially novel mechanism distinct from that of currently used antifungal agents.

Silencing of Tissue Factor by Antisense Deoxyoligonucleotide Prevents Monocrotaline/LPS Renal Injury in Mice

Tissue factor (TF) is involved in monocrotaline (MCT)/lipopolysaccharide (LPS) hepatotoxicity. It is not known whether MCT/LPS can cause renal toxicity and whether TF is involved in this toxicity. Thus, the present study was undertaken to investigate the potential renal toxicity after MCT/LPS co-treatment and the involvement of TF in this toxicity. MCT was delivered to ND4 male mice (200 mg/kg) per os followed 4 h later by treatment with LPS ip (6 mg/kg) to investigate its effect on kidney. We injected TF antisense oligonucleotide (TF-AS) intravenously (i.v) in mice prior to LPS treatment, to block TF, and measured their blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine (CRE), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and potassium. In MCT/LPS co-treated group, fibrin was detected on the glomerular capillary lumina, distal tubules of renal cortex, and the necrotic tubules of renal medulla. An elevation of BUN, creatinine, and the BUN/creatinine ratio was seen in mice with MCT/LPS co-treatment, compared to animals receiving LPS or MCT alone. Simultaneously, an aggressive tubular necrosis was seen in the medullary tubules in the same group which may account for the oliguria observed in these animals. Fourfold inductions in the plasma TF level was detected at 10 h after MCT/LPS co-treatment which increased to 18-fold at 24 h. Increased blood level of leptin, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and downregulation of tubular chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 16 (CXCL16) are characteristic features in MCT/LPS co-treated animal. On the other hand, mice injected with TF-AS in the presence of MCT/LPS co-treatment showed no elevation of the blood BUN, creatinine, potassium, and normal levels of the proinflammatory molecules. TF-AS injection significantly prevented glomerular and tubular fibrin deposition, tubular necrosis, and improvement of the animal survivability. Renal toxicity involving TF can be prevented successfully by the use of TF-AS.

Optimization of 3-(phenylthio)quinolinium Compounds Against Opportunistic Fungal Pathogens

Ring-opened benzothieno[3,2-b]quinolinium salts (3) were designed and synthesized with substitution on the thiophene moiety. In vitro screenings were carried out against fungal pathogens including Cryptococcus neoformans, Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Candida krusei and Aspergillus fumigatus. In all, by replacing the N-methyl group (2) with N-ω-phenylpentyl or ω-cyclohexylpentyl group to form substituted 3-(phenylthio)quinolinium compounds produced remarkable potencies, as high as 300-fold (cf, cryptolepine (1)=250 μg/mL vs 11p=0.8 μg/mL for C. albicans) over the starting tetracyclic parent. In addition, all the N-ω-cyclohexylpentyl analogs produced superior activity against all the microorganisms tested than the N-ω-phenylpentyl substituted compounds. The potential of these compounds to induce toxicity in Vero cells was also investigated and the majority of them showed lower or no cytotoxicity at 10 μg/mL than amphotericin B, the gold standard in antifungal drug development. For instance, the trifluoromethyl substituted analogs (11n-p) have selectivity indices over 2-fold better than those of amphotericin B in C. neoformans. Overall, this ring-opened scafford of benzothienoquinolines, with substitution on the thiophenyl moiety, serves as a new lead for further development.

Dietary Supplements: Safety Issues and Quality Control

δ-Carbolines and Their Ring-opened Analogs: Synthesis and Evaluation Against Fungal and Bacterial Opportunistic Pathogens

Previous studies have indicated that the δ-carboline (2) ring system derived from the natural product cryptolepine (1) may represent a pharmacophore for anti-infective activity. This paper describes the design and synthesis of a small library of substituted δ-carbolines and the evaluation of the anti-fungal and anti-bacterial activities. An evaluation of the anti-bacterial activity of a previously reported library of ring-opened analogs was also conducted to provide an opportunity to test the hypothesis that both group of compounds may have the same biological target. Results indicate that against a selected group of fungal pathogens, substituted δ-carbolinium analogs displayed higher potency and several fold lower cytotoxicity than cryptolepine the parent natural product. Both the δ-carbolinium compounds and their ring-opened analogs, exhibited equally high anti-bacterial activity against the selected pathogens and especially against the gram positive bacteria evaluated.

Tissue Factor Dependent Liver Injury Causes Release of Retinoid Receptors (RXR-α and RAR-α) As Lipid Droplets

Hepatic stellate cells (HSC) store retinoids and upon activation differentiate into myofibroblast-like cells, a process whereby they lose their retinoid-containing lipid droplets. We reported earlier, activation of tissue factor (TF) in our MCT/LPS hepatotoxicity model. We now report the involvement of TF in the release of retinoid receptors RAR-α and RXR-α as accumulated lipid droplet during monocrotaline/lipopolysaccharide (MCT/LPS)-liver injury. Constitutive expression of RAR-α was observed in HSCs and endothelial cells of bile duct and portal vein, while expression of RXR-α was observed in certain pericentral hepatocytes and HSCs. Administration of sub-toxic doses of MCT or LPS strongly increased TF and RXR-α but not RAR-α expressions in HSCs and hepatocytes. However MCT/LPS co-treatment showed insoluble droplets containing RAR-α and RXR-α in the vicinity of the necrotic areas. Blocking TF with TF antisense oligonucleotides (TF-AS ODN) led to normal hepatocyte expression of RXR-α and upregulated the expression of RAR-α in HSCs. This study shows clear evidence of in vivo release of RAR-α and RXR-α as insoluble lipid droplets in liver injury. It is possible that these insoluble droplets of RAR-α and RXR-α could be used as markers for liver injury in general and activation of HSCs in particular. RXR-α appears to be a more sensitive than RAR-α as it was affected by even the subtoxic doses of MCT or LPS. The fact that TF-AS treatment not only down-regulated TF but also obliterated the release of RAR-α and RXR-α as insoluble lipid droplets in hepatocytes points towards TF being an important regulatory molecule for RAR-α and RXR-α.

Potential Utility of Natural Products As Regulators of Breast Cancer-associated Aromatase Promoters

Aromatase, the key enzyme in estrogen biosynthesis, converts androstenedione to estrone and testosterone to estradiol. The enzyme is expressed in various tissues such as ovary, placenta, bone, brain, skin, and adipose tissue. Aromatase enzyme is encoded by a single gene CYP 19A1 and its expression is controlled by tissue-specific promoters. Aromatase mRNA is primarily transcribed from promoter I.4 in normal breast tissue and physiological levels of aromatase are found in breast adipose stromal fibroblasts. Under the conditions of breast cancer, as a result of the activation of a distinct set of aromatase promoters (I.3, II, and I.7) aromatase expression is enhanced leading to local overproduction of estrogen that promotes breast cancer. Aromatase is considered as a potential target for endocrine treatment of breast cancer but due to nonspecific reduction of aromatase activity in other tissues, aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are associated with undesirable side effects such as bone loss, and abnormal lipid metabolism. Inhibition of aromatase expression by inactivating breast tumor-specific aromatase promoters can selectively block estrogen production at the tumor site. Although several synthetic chemical compounds and nuclear receptor ligands are known to inhibit the activity of the tumor-specific aromatase promoters, further development of more specific and efficacious drugs without adverse effects is still warranted. Plants are rich in chemopreventive agents that have a great potential to be used in chemotherapy for hormone dependent breast cancer which could serve as a source for natural AIs. In this brief review, we summarize the studies on phytochemicals such as biochanin A, genistein, quercetin, isoliquiritigenin, resveratrol, and grape seed extracts related to their effect on the activation of breast cancer-associated aromatase promoters and discuss their aromatase inhibitory potential to be used as safer chemotherapeutic agents for specific hormone-dependent breast cancer.

DFT Study on the Radical Anions Formed by Primaquine and Its Derivatives

The electron affinities (EA) of the 8-aminoquinoline antimalarial drug primaquine and several of its metabolites were studied using the density functional theory method. We first considered six substituents at the 5-position, -CH(3), -OH, -OCH(3), -Ph, -OPh, and -CHO. We found that in the gas phase the adiabatic EAs are similar to that of the parent primaquine for the -CH(3), -OH, and -OCH(3) substituents. In contrast, the -Ph, -OPh, and -CHO substituents all markedly increase the adiabatic EA. However, only the -CHO substituted compound is predicted to form a stable covalently bound radical anion in the gas phase due to its significant positive vertical EA relative to that of the parent primaquine. In addition, when the 8-position is substituted by the N-hydroxyl group or a quinone-imine structure is formed, the electron capture ability is significantly increased. In aqueous solution, all these molecules have significantly larger adiabatic EAs than in the gas phase. In addition, all of the vertical EAs are positive in aqueous solution. The implications of these findings for contributing to our mechanistic understanding of the red cell toxicity of 8-aminoquinoline compounds are further discussed.

Antiparasitic and Antimicrobial Isoflavanquinones from Abrus Schimperi

The EtOH extract of Abrus schimperi (Fabaceae), collected in Kenya, demonstrated significant activity against Leishmania donovani promastigotes with IC50 value of 3.6 microg/mL. Bioassay-guided fractionation of CHCl3 fraction using Centrifugal Preparative TLC afforded two antiparasitic isoflavanquinones, namely amorphaquinone (1) and pendulone (2). They displayed IC50 values of 0.63 microg/mL and 0.43 microg/mL, respectively, against L. donovani promastigotes. Both the compounds were also evaluated against L. donovani axenic amastigotes and amastigotes in THPI macrophage cultures. In addition, compounds 1 and 2 showed antiplasmodial activity against Plasmodium falciparum D6 and W2 strains, while 2 displayed antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (each IC50 1.44 microg/mL). The 1H and 13C data of 1, not fully assigned previously, were unambiguously assigned using 1D and 2D NMR HMBC and HMQC experiments. In addition, the absolute stereochemistry of the isolated compounds 1 and 2 was revised as C-(3S) based on Circular Dichroism experiments. This appears to be the first report of amorphaquinone (1) and pendulone (2) from the genus Abrus.

Epigenetic Events Associated with Breast Cancer and Their Prevention by Dietary Components Targeting the Epigenome

Aberrant epigenetic alterations in the genome such as DNA methylation and chromatin remodeling play a significant role in breast cancer development. Since epigenetic alterations are considered to be more easily reversible compared to genetic changes, epigenetic therapy is potentially very useful in reversing some of these defects. Methylation of CpG islands is an important component of the epigenetic code, and a number of genes become abnormally methylated in breast cancer patients. Currently, several epigenetic-based synthetic drugs that can reduce DNA hypermethylation and histone deacetylation are undergoing preclinical and clinical trials. However, these chemicals are generally very toxic and do not have gene specificity. Epidemiological studies have shown that Asian women are less prone to breast cancer due to their high consumption of soy food than the Caucasian women of western countries. Moreover, complementary/and or alternative medicines are commonly used by Asian populations which are rich in bioactive ingredients known to be chemopreventive against tumorigenesis in general. Examples of such agents include dietary polyphenols, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) from green tea, genistein from soybean, isothiocyanates from plant foods, curcumin from turmeric, resveratrol from grapes, and sulforaphane from cruciferous vegetables. These bioactive components are able to modulate epigenetic events, and their epigenetic targets are known to be associated with breast cancer prevention and therapy. This approach could facilitate the discovery and development of novel drugs for the treatment of breast cancer. In this brief review, we will summarize the epigenetic events associated with breast cancer and the potential of some of these bioactive dietary components to modulate these events and thus afford new therapeutic or preventive approaches.

Inhibition of Human Monoamine Oxidase A and B by 5-phenoxy 8-aminoquinoline Analogs

8-Aminoquinolines (8-AQs) are important class of anti-infective therapeutics. 5-Phenoxy 8-aminoquinoline analogs have shown improved metabolic stability compared to primaquine. In view or predictive role of monoamine oxidases (MAO) in metabolism of 8-aminoquinolines the 5-phenoxy analogs were evaluated in vitro for the inhibition of recombinant human MAO-A and MAO-B. The analogs were several folds more potent inhibitors of MAO-A and MAO-B compared to primaquine, the parent drug, with selectivity for MAO-B. 5-(4-Trifluoromethylphenoxy)-4-methylprimaquine (6) Inhibited MAO-B with IC(50) value of 150 nM (626-fold more potent than primaquine). These results will have important implications in optimizing metabolic stability of 8-AQs to improve therapeutic value and also indicate scope for development of 8-AQs as selective MAO inhibitors.

Understanding the Mechanisms for Metabolism-linked Hemolytic Toxicity of Primaquine Against Glucose 6-phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficient Human Erythrocytes: Evaluation of Eryptotic Pathway

Therapeutic utility of primaquine, an 8-aminoquinoline antimalarial drug, has been limited due to its hemolytic toxicity in population with glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. Recent investigations at our lab have shown that the metabolites generated through cytochrome P(450)-dependent metabolic reactions are responsible for hemotoxic effects of primaquine, which could be monitored with accumulation of methemoglobin and increased oxidative stress. The molecular markers for succeeding cascade of events associated with early clearance of the erythrocytes from the circulation were evaluated for understanding the mechanism for hemolytic toxicity of primaquine. Primaquine alone though did not induce noticeable methemoglobin accumulation, but produced significant oxidative stress, which was higher in G6PD-deficient than in normal erythrocytes. Primaquine, presumably through redox active hemotoxic metabolites generated in situ in human liver microsomal metabolism-linked assay, induced a dose-dependent methemoglobin accumulation and oxidative stress, which were almost similar in normal and G6PD-deficient erythrocytes. Primaquine alone or in presence of pooled human liver microsomes neither produced significant effect on intraerythrocytic calcium levels nor affected the phosphatidyl serine asymmetry of the normal and G6PD-deficient human erythrocytes as monitored flowcytometrically with Annexin V binding assay. The studies suggest that eryptosis mechanisms are not involved in accelerated removal of erythrocytes due to hemolytic toxicity of primaquine.

Tissue Factor Antisense Deoxyoligonucleotide Prevents Monocrotaline/LPS Hepatotoxicity in Mice

Tissue factor (TF) is a membranous glycoprotein that functions as a receptor for coagulation factor VII/VIIa and activates the coagulation system when blood vessels or tissues are damaged. TF was upregulated in our monocrotaline (MCT)/lipopolysaccharide (LPS) hepatotoxicity model. We tested the hypothesis that TF-dependent fibrin deposition and lipid peroxidation in the form of oxidized low-density-lipoprotein (ox-LDL) accumulation contribute to liver inflammation induced by MCT/LPS in mice. In the present study, we blocked TF using antisense oligodeoxynucleotides against mouse TF (TF-ASO). TF-ASO (5.6 mg kg(-1) ) was given i.v. to ND4 male mice 30 min after administration of MCT (200 mg kg(-1) ) p.o. followed after 3.5 h by LPS i.p. (6 mg kg(-1) ). Blood alanine aminotransferase (ALT), TF, ox-LDL, platelets, hematocrit and keratinocyte-derived chemokine (KC) levels were evaluated in different treatment groups. Fibrin deposition and ox-LDL accumulation were also analyzed in the liver sections using immunofluorescent staining. The results showed that TF-ASO significantly restored blood ALT, hematocrit and KC levels, distorted after MCT/LPS co-treatment, as well as preventing the accumulation of ox-LDL and the deposition of fibrin in the liver tissues, and thereby inhibited liver injury caused by MCT/LPS. In a separate experiment, TF-ASO administration significantly prolonged animal survival. The current study demonstrates that TF is associated with MCT/LPS-induced liver injury. Administration of TF-ASO successfully prevented this type of liver injury. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

CYP450 Phenotyping and Accurate Mass Identification of Metabolites of the 8-aminoquinoline, Anti-malarial Drug Primaquine

The 8-aminoquinoline (8AQ) drug primaquine (PQ) is currently the only approved drug effective against the persistent liver stage of the hypnozoite forming strains Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium ovale as well as Stage V gametocytes of Plasmodium falciparum. To date, several groups have investigated the toxicity observed in the 8AQ class, however, exact mechanisms and/or metabolic species responsible for PQ's haemotoxic and anti-malarial properties are not fully understood.

Pentacyclic Ingamine Alkaloids, a New Antiplasmodial Pharmacophore from the Marine Sponge Petrosid Ng5 Sp5

Two new pentacyclic ingamine alkaloids, namely 22(S)-hydroxyingamine A (2) and dihydroingenamine D (3), together with the known ingamine A (1), have been isolated from marine sponge Petrosid Ng5 Sp5 (family Petrosiidae) obtained from the open repository of the National Cancer Institute, USA. The structures of compounds 1-3 were determined using 1D and 2D NMR, and HRESIMS techniques. The absolute configuration of both the C9 and C22 of 2 was determined as (S) using a modified Mosher esterification method. Compounds 1 and 3 showed strong antiplasmodial activity against chloroquine-sensitive (D6) and -resistant (W2) strains of Plasmodium falciparum with IC₅₀ values of 90 and 78 ng/mL and 72 and 57 ng/mL, respectively, while 2 was found to be less active (IC₅₀ values of 200 and 140 ng/mL, respectively). Compounds 1-3 were found to be devoid of in vitro cytotoxicity against human solid tumor cells of breast (BT-549), ovary (SK-OV-3), and epidermoid (KB) carcinomas and skin melanoma (SK-MEL), as well as against noncancerous monkey kidney fibroblasts (VERO) and pig kidney epithelial (LLC-PK₁₁) cells, up to a maximum concentration of 10 µg/mL. Compounds 1-3 also displayed weak antimicrobial and moderate antileishmanial activities against Leishmania donovani promastigotes. These polycyclic ingamine alkaloids represent the first example of antiplasmodial leads without a β-carboline ring, which is known to be responsible for the cytotoxicity of the well-known manzamine class of marine alkaloids related to 1-3.

Antiparasitic and Anticancer Carvotacetone Derivatives of Sphaeranthus Bullatus

The CH2Cl2-MeOH (1:1) extract of the aerial parts of Sphaeranthus bullatus, an annual herb native to tropical East Africa, showed activity against chloroquine sensitive D6 (IC50 9.7 microg/mL) and chloroquine resistant W2 (IC50 15.0 microg/mL) strains of Plasmodium falciparum. Seventeen secondary metabolites were isolated from the extract through conventional chromatographic techniques and identified using various spectroscopic methods. The compounds were evaluated for their in vitro antiplasmodial, antileishmanial and anticancer activities revealing activity of four carvotacetone derivatives, namely 3-acetoxy-7-hydroxy-5-tigloyloxycarvotacetone (1), 3,7-dihydroxy-5-tigloyloxycarvotacetone (2), 3-acetoxy-5,7-dihydroxycarvotacetone (3) and 3,5,7-trihydroxy-carvotacetone (4); with antiplasmodial IC50 values of 1.40, 0.79, 0.60 and 3.40 microg/mL, respectively, against chloroquine sensitive D6 strains of P. falciparum; antiplasmodial activity of IC50 2.00, 0.90, 0.68 and 2.80 microg/mL, respectively, against chloroquine resistant W2 strains of P. falciparum; antileishmanial IC50 values of 0.70, 3.00, 0.70 and 17.00 microg/mL, respectively, against the parasite L. donovanii promastigotes, and anticancer activity against human SK-MEL, KB, BT-549 and SK-OV-3 tumor cells, with IC50 values between <1.1 - 5.3 microg/mL for 1-3. In addition, cytotoxic effects of the active compounds were evaluated against monkey kidney fibroblasts (VERO) and pig kidney epithelial cells (LLC-PK11). The structures of carvotacetone derivatives were determined by 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy; the absolute stereochemical configuration of 3-acetoxy-7-hydroxy-5-tigloyloxycarvotacetone (1) was determined as 3R, 4R, 5S by circular dichroism, specific rotation, 1H NMR and 2D NMR ROESY and NOESY experiments.

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