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J Org Chem. 2006 Jul 7;71(14):5357-60.

Berkelic acid, a novel spiroketal with selective anticancer activity from an acid mine waste fungal extremophile.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Montana Tech of University of Montana, Butte, MT 59701, USA. astierle@mtech.edu


Berkeley Pit Lake is an abandoned open-pit copper mine filled with 30 billion gallons of acidic, metal-contaminated water. This harsh environment is proving to be a source of unusual microorganisms that produce novel bioactive metabolites. Bioassay-guided fractionation using signal transduction enzyme assays led to the isolation of the novel spiroketal, berkelic acid 1, and of the known gamma-pyrone, spiciferone A 4. Berkelic acid has shown selective, nanomolar activity against OVCAR-3, an ovarian cancer cell line in the National Cancer Institute cell line screen. The isolation and characterization of these compounds are reported here.

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