[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endophytic fungi are plant tissue-associated fungi that represent a rich resource of unexplored biological and chemical diversity. As part of an ongoing effort to characterize Amazon rainforest-derived endophytes, numerous fungi were isolated and cultured from plants collected in the Yasuní National Park in Ecuador. Of these samples, phylogenetic and morphological data revealed a previously undescribed fungus in the order Pleosporales that was cultured from the tropical tree Duroia hirsuta. Extracts from this fungal isolate displayed activity against Staphylococcus aureus and were thus subjected to detailed chemical studies. Two compounds with modest antibacterial activity were isolated, and their structures were elucidated using a combination of NMR spectroscopic analysis, LC-MS studies, and chemical degradation. These efforts led to the identification of stelliosphaerols A (1) and B (2), new sesquiterpene-polyol conjugates that are responsible, at least in part, for the S. aureus inhibitory activity of the fungal extract.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Natural Products
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A high-throughput screening assay for modulators of Trp53/NF1 mutant astrocytoma cell growth was adapted for use with natural product extracts and applied to a novel collection of prefractionated/partially purified extracts. Screening 68 427 samples identified active fractions from 95 unique extracts, including the terrestrial plant Millettia ichthyotona. Only three of these extracts showed activity in the crude extract form, thus demonstrating the utility of a partial purification approach for natural product screening. The NF1 screening assay was used to guide purification of active compounds from the M. ichthyotona extract, which yielded the two rotenones deguelin (1) and dehydrodeguelin (2). The deguelins have been reported to affect growth of a number of cancer cell lines. They potently inhibited growth of only one of a panel of NF1/Trp53 mutant murine astrocytoma cell lines, possibly related to epigenetic factors, but had no effect on the growth of normal astrocytes. These results suggest the potential utility of deguelins as tools for further investigating NF1 astrocytoma cell growth. These bioprobes were identified only as a result of screening partially purified natural product extracts.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Natural Products
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Natural products remain an important source of new therapeutics for emerging drug-resistant pathogens like Candida albicans, which particularly affects immunocompromised patients. A bioactive 3-decalinoyltetramic acid, pyrrolocin A, was isolated from extracts of a novel Amazonian fungal endophyte, E6927E, of the Diaporthales family. The structure of the natural product was solved using NMR and CD spectroscopy and it is structurally related to the fungal setins, equisetin and phomasetin, which are well-characterized tetramic acid antibiotics specific for Gram-positive organisms. We show that the compound inhibits growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis. It shows selective and potent bioactivity against fungal strains, with an MIC of 4 mu g/mL for C. albicans, 100 mu g/mL for Aspergillus sp. and greater than 100 mu g/mL for Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Further, the compound is less toxic to mammalian cells (IC50 = 150 mu g/mL), with an inhibitory concentration greater than forty times that for C. albicans. Pyrrolocin A retained potent activity against eight out of seventeen strains of clinical Candida sp. isolates tested.
No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Natural product communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two new HIV-inhibitory depsipeptides, stellettapeptins A (1) and B (2), were isolated from an extract of the marine sponge Stelletta sp., collected from northwestern Australia. The structures of these cyclic nonribosomal peptides were elucidated on the basis of extensive NMR data analysis, and chemical degradation and derivatization studies. The stellettapeptins contain numerous nonproteinogenic amino acid residues and they are the first peptides reported to contain a 3-hydroxy-6,8-dimethylnon-4-(Z)-enoic acid moiety. Compounds 1 and 2 potently inhibit infection of human T-lymphoblastoid cells by HIV-1RF with EC50 values of 23 and 27 nM, respectively.
Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Tetrahedron Letters
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low oxygen environments are a hallmark of solid tumors, and transcription of many hypoxia-responsive genes needed for survival under these conditions is regulated by the transcription factor HIF-1 (hypoxia-inducible factor 1). Activation of HIF-1 requires binding of its α-subunit (HIF-1α) to the transcriptional coactivator protein p300. Inhibition of the p300/HIF-1α interaction can suppress HIF-1 activity. A screen for inhibitors of the protein binding domains of p300 (CH1) and HIF-1α (C-TAD) identified an extract of the marine ascidian Eudistoma sp. as active. Novel heterocyclic alkaloids eudistidines A (1) and B (2) were isolated from the extract, and their structures assigned by spectroscopic analyses. They contain an unprecedented tetracyclic core composed of two pyrimidine rings fused with an imidazole ring. Eudistidine A (1) was synthesized in a concise four-step sequence featuring a condensation/cyclization reaction cascade between 4-(2-aminophenyl)pyrimidin-2-amine (3) and 4-methoxy-phenylglyoxal (4), while eudistidine B (2) was synthesized in a similar fashion with glyoxylic acid (5) in place of 4. Naturally occurring eudistidine A (1) effectively inhibited CH1/C-TAD binding with an IC50 of 75 μM, and synthetic 1 had similar activity. The eudistidine A (1) scaffold, which can be synthesized in a concise, scalable manner, may provide potential therapeutic lead compounds or molecular probes to study p300/HIF-1α interactions and the role these proteins play in tumor response to low oxygen conditions. The unique structural scaffolds and functional group arrays often found in natural products make these secondary metabolites a rich source of new compounds that can disrupt critical protein-protein binding events.
No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of the American Chemical Society
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Withanolide E, a steroidal lactone from Physalis peruviana, was found to be highly active for sensitizing renal carcinoma cells and a number of other human cancer cells to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-mediated apoptosis. Withanolide E, the most potent and least toxic of five TRAIL-sensitizing withanolides identified, enhanced death receptor-mediated apoptotic signaling by a rapid decline in the levels of cFLIP proteins. Other mechanisms by which TRAIL sensitizers have been reported to work: generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), changes in pro-and antiapoptotic protein expression, death receptor upregulation, activation of intrinsic (mitochondrial) apoptotic pathways, ER stress, and proteasomal inhibition proved to be irrelevant to withanolide E activity. Loss of cFLIP proteins was not due to changes in expression, but rather destabilization and/or aggregation, suggesting impairment of chaperone proteins leading to degradation. Indeed, withanolide E treatment altered the stability of a number of HSP90 client proteins, but with greater apparent specificity than the well-known HSP90 inhibitor geldanamycin. As cFLIP has been reported to be an HSP90 client, this provides a potentially novel mechanism for sensitizing cells to TRAIL. Sensitization of human renal carcinoma cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis by withanolide E and its lack of toxicity were confirmed in animal studies. Owing to its novel activity, withanolide E is a promising reagent for the analysis of mechanisms of TRAIL resistance, for understanding HSP90 function, and for further therapeutic development. In marked contrast to bortezomib, among the best currently available TRAIL sensitizers, withanolide E's more specific mechanism of action suggests minimal toxic side effects.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Cell Death & Disease
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bioinformatic analysis of data from the NCI-60 cell cytotoxicity screen revealed a subset of extracts that showed selective cytotoxic activity toward human colon carcinoma cell lines. Bioassay-guided fractionation of a colon cancer selective extract from a Philippines collection of the marine sponge Corticium niger provided two new steroidal alkaloids, plakinamines N (1) and O (2), along with two known compounds of the plakinamine class (3, 4). The structures of these compounds were elucidated by interpretation of combined MS and NMR spectroscopic data. Plakinamines N (1), O (2), and J (4) were tested for antiproliferative activity in the NCI-60 screen, and they showed enhanced inhibitory effects against all of the colon cell lines with mean GI50 values of 11.5, 2.4, and 1.4 μM, respectively.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Natural Products
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A cell-based high-throughput screen that assessed the cellular stability of a tumor suppressor protein PDCD4 (Programmed cell death 4) was used to identify a new guanidine-containing marine alkaloid mirabilin K (3), as well as the known compounds mirabilin G (1) and netamine M (2). The structures of these tricyclic guanidine alkaloids were established from extensive spectroscopic analyses. Compounds 1 and 2 inhibited cellular degradation of PDCD4 with EC50 values of 1.8 μg/mL and 2.8 μg/mL, respectively. Mirabilin G (1) and netamine M (2) are the first marine natural products reported to stabilize PDCD4 under tumor promoting conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deregulation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-70kDa ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 (p70(S6K)) pathway is commonly observed in many tumors. This pathway controls proliferation, survival, and translation, and its overactivation is associated with poor prognosis for tumor-associated survival. Current efforts focus on the development of novel inhibitors of this pathway. In a cell-based high-throughput screening assay of 15 272 pure natural compounds, we identified pomiferin triacetate as a potent stabilizer of the tumor suppressor programmed cell death 4 (Pdcd4). Mechanistically, pomiferin triacetate appeared as a general inhibitor of the PI3K-Akt-mTOR-p70(S6K) cascade. Interference with this pathway occurred downstream of Akt but upstream of p70(S6K). Specifically, mTOR kinase emerged as the molecular target of pomiferin triacetate, with similar activities against mTOR complexes 1 and 2. In an in vitro mTOR kinase assay pomiferin triacetate dose-dependently inhibited mTOR with an IC50 of 6.2 μM. Molecular docking studies supported the interaction of the inhibitor with the catalytic site of mTOR. Importantly, pomiferin triacetate appeared to be highly selective for mTOR compared to a panel of 17 lipid and 50 protein kinases tested. As a consequence of the mTOR inhibition, pomiferin triacetate efficiently attenuated translation. In summary, pomiferin triacetate emerged as a novel and highly specific mTOR inhibitor with strong translation inhibitory effects. Thus, it might be an interesting lead structure for the development of mTOR- and translation-targeted anti-tumor therapies.
No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Biochemical pharmacology