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J Med Chem. 2011 Aug 11;54(15):5296-306. doi: 10.1021/jm200543y. Epub 2011 Jul 8.

Antimalarial activity of natural and synthetic prodiginines.

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Department of Chemistry, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon 97207-0751, United States.


Prodiginines are a family of linear and cyclic oligopyrrole red-pigmented compounds. Herein we describe the in vitro antimalarial activity of four natural (IC(50) = 1.7-8.0 nM) and three sets of synthetic prodiginines against Plasmodium falciparum. Set 1 compounds replaced the terminal nonalkylated pyrrole ring of natural prodiginines and had diminished activity (IC(50) > 2920 nM). Set 2 and set 3 prodiginines were monosubstituted or disubstituted at either the 3 or 5 position of the right-hand terminal pyrrole, respectively. Potent in vitro activity (IC(50) = 0.9-16.0 nM) was observed using alkyl or aryl substituents. Metacycloprodiginine and more potent synthetic analogues were evaluated in a P. yoelii murine patent infection using oral administration. Each analogue reduced parasitemia by more than 90% after 25 (mg/kg)/day dosing and in some cases provided a cure. The most favorable profile was 92% parasite reduction at 5 (mg/kg)/day, and 100% reduction at 25 (mg/kg)/day without any evident weight loses or clinical overt toxicity.

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