Bridged bicyclic 2,3-dioxabicyclo[3.3.1]nonanes as antiplasmodial agents: Synthesis, structure-activity relationships and studies on their biomimetic reaction with Fe(II).


Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmacy (DoE 2018-2022), University of Siena, via Aldo Moro 2, 53100 Siena, Italy. Electronic address: [Email]


Despite recent advancements in its control, malaria is still a deadly parasitic disease killing millions of people each year. Progresses in combating the infection have been made by using the so-called artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs). Natural and synthetic peroxides are an important class of antimalarials. Here we describe a new series of peroxides synthesized through a new elaboration of the scaffold of bicyclic-fused/bridged synthetic endoperoxides previously developed by us. These peroxides are produced by a straightforward synthetic protocol and are characterized by submicromolar potency when tested against both chloroquine-sensitive and chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum strains. To investigate their mode of action, the biomimetic reaction of the representative compound 6w with Fe(II) was studied by EPR and the reaction products were characterized by NMR. Rationalization of the observed structure-activity relationship studies was performed by molecular docking. Taken together, our data robustly support the hypothesized mode of activation of peroxides 6a-cc and led to the definition of the key structural requirements responsible for the antiplasmodial potency. These data will pave the way in future to the rational design of novel optimized antimalarials suitable for in vivo investigation.


Antimalarials,Bioactivation reaction,C-centered radicals,Docking studies,Plasmodium falciparum,Synthetic endoperoxides,

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