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Bioorg Med Chem. 2012 Jan 15;20(2):681-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2011.12.015. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Structure-activity relationship of α hormones, the mating factors of phytopathogen Phytophthora.

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Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan.


The mating hormones α1 and α2 induce sexual reproduction of the phytopathogenic genus Phytophthora. To demonstrate the structural elements responsible to hormonal activity, 17 derivatives of α1 and α2 were synthesized and their hormonal activity (oospore-inducing activity) was evaluated. The terminal ester derivatives of α1 (diacetate and dibenzoate) retained the hormonal activity, whereas a dicarbamate derivative completely suppressed the activity. Even monocarbamates showed weak activities; among them the 1-O-carbamate was less active than 16-O-carbamate, suggesting that the 1-OH group is a little more important than 16-OH. Dihydro, dehydro, and demethyl derivatives exhibited the minimum level of activity. Surviving activity of 15-epi-α1 suggested a less importance of this stereochemistry. Contrary to α1, not only the terminal diacetate derivative but also monoacetates of α2 exhibited no or little activity. Among the monoacetates, 1-O-acetyl-α2 exhibited little yet relatively better activity than the others. No activity was observed for mono- and dicarbamoyl derivatives of α2. Dihydro α2 with the saturated double bond lost most of the activity. These findings suggest that both the mating hormones α1 and α2 require most of the functional (hydroxyl, keto, and olefinic) groups they possess in their natural form for inducing the sexual reproduction of Phytophthora.

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