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J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem. 2015 Dec;30(6):1027-33. doi: 10.3109/14756366.2014.1001755. Epub 2015 Sep 4.

Bioactive compounds of Crocus sativus L. and their semi-synthetic derivatives as promising anti-Helicobacter pylori, anti-malarial and anti-leishmanial agents.

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a Dipartimento di Chimica e Tecnologie del Farmaco, Sapienza University of Rome , Rome , Italy .
b Dipartimento di Scienze della Salute, "Magna Graecia" University of Catanzaro, Campus Universitario "S. Venuta" , Viale Europa Loc. Germaneto, Catanzaro , Italy .
c Department of Pharmacy, "G. D'Annunzio" University of Chieti-Pescara , Chieti , Italy .
d Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Chirurgiche ed Odontoiatriche, University of Milan , Milan , Italy , and.
e Dipartimento di Scienze Farmacologiche e Biomolecolari, University of Milan , Milan , Italy.


Crocus sativus L. is known in herbal medicine for the various pharmacological effects of its components, but no data are found in literature about its biological properties toward Helicobacter pylori, Plasmodium spp. and Leishmania spp. In this work, the potential anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic effects of crocin and safranal, two important bioactive components in C. sativus, were explored, and also some semi-synthetic derivatives of safranal were tested in order to establish which modifications in the chemical structure could improve the biological activity. According to our promising results, we virtually screened our compounds by means of molecular modeling studies against the main H. pylori enzymes in order to unravel their putative mechanism of action.


Anti-leishmanial agents; Crocus sativus L.; Helicobacter pylori; anti-malarial agents; safranal

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