Structure–activity relationships of the antimalarial agent artemisinin 10. Synthesis and antimalarial activity of enantiomers of rac-5β-hydroxy-d-secoartemisinin and analogs: Implications regarding the mechanism of action
An efficient synthesis of rac-6-desmethyl-5β–hydroxy-D-secoartemisinin 2, a tricyclic analog of R-(+)-artemisinin 1, was accomplished and the racemate was resolved into the (+)-2b and (−)-2a enantiomers via their Mosher Ester diastereomers. Antimalarial activity resided with only the artemisinin-like enantiomer R-(−)-2a. Several new compounds 9–16, 19a, 19b, 22 and 29 were synthesized from rac-2 but the C-5 secondary hydroxyl group was surprisingly unreactive. For example, the formation of carbamates and Mitsunobu reactions were unsuccessful. In order to assess the unusual reactivity of 2, a single crystal X-ray crystallographic analysis revealed a close intramolecular hydrogen bond from the C-5 alcohol to the oxepane ether oxygen (O-11). All products were tested in vitro against the W-2 and D-6 strains of Plasmodium falciparum. Several of the analogs had moderate activity in comparison to the natural product 1. Iron (II) bromide-promoted rearrangement of 2 gave, in 50% yield, the ring-contracted tetrahydrofuran 22, while the 5-ketone 15 provided a monocyclic methyl ketone 29 (50%). Neither 22 nor 29 possessed in vitro antimalarial activity. These results have implications in regard to the antimalarial mechanism of action of artemisinin.
Jahan, M.; Leon, F.; Fronczek, F.R.; Elokely, K.M.; Rimoldi, J.; Khan, S.I.; Avery, M.A. Structure–Activity Relationships of the Antimalarial Agent Artemisinin 10. Synthesis and Antimalarial Activity of Enantiomers of rac-5β-Hydroxy-d-Secoartemisinin and Analogs: Implications Regarding the Mechanism of Action. Molecules 2021, 26, 4163. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26144163