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Antimalarial drugs based on artemisinin: DFT calculations on the principal reactions

Drew, M.G.B., Metcalfe, J. and Ismail, F.M.D. (2005) Antimalarial drugs based on artemisinin: DFT calculations on the principal reactions. Journal of Molecular Structure-Theochem, 756 (1-3). pp. 87-95. ISSN 0166-1280

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.theochem.2005.08.010

Abstract/Summary

Theoretical calculations have been carried out on the interactions of several endoperoxides which are potential antimalarials, including the clinically useful artemisinin, with two possible sources of iron in the parasite, namely the hexa-aquo ferrous ion [Fe(H2O)(6)](2+) and haeme. DFT calculations show that the reactions of all endoperoxides considered, with both sources of iron, initially generate a Fe-O bond followed by cleavage of the O-O bond to oxygen radical species. Subsequently, they can be transformed into carbon-centred radicals of greater stability. However, with [Fe(H2O)(6)](2+) as the iron source, the oxygen-centred radical species are more likely to react further akin to Fenton's reagent, whereby iron salts encourage hydrogen peroxide to act as an oxidizing agent, and that solvent plays a major role. In contrast, when reacting with haeme, the oxygen-centred radicals interconvert to more stable carbon-centred radicals, which can then alkylate haeme. Subsequent cleavage of the Fe-O bond leads to stable and inactive antimalarial products. These results indicate that the reactivity of the endoperoxides as antimalarials is greater with iron hexahydrates for radical-mediated damage as opposed to haeme, which leads to unreactive species. Since only nanomolar quantities of hydrated metal ions could catalyse the reactions leading to damage to the parasites, this could be an alternative or competitive reaction responsible for the antimalarial activity. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:11218
Uncontrolled Keywords:artemisinin, malaria, density functional theory, iron, haeme, trioxane, rings, pharmacophore, PARASITE PLASMODIUM-FALCIPARUM, INHOMOGENEOUS ELECTRON-GAS, MALARIA, PARASITE, CORRELATION-ENERGY, AQUEOUS-SOLUTION, HEME IRON, IN-VITRO, MECHANISM, QINGHAOSU, ALKYLATION

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