Synthesis of new betulinic acid/betulin-derived dimers and hybrids with potent antimalarial and antiviral activities.

01 Jan 2019
Karagöz AÇ, Leidenberger M, Hahn F, Hampel F, Friedrich O, Marschall M, Kappes B, Tsogoeva SB

Severe malaria and viral infections cause life-threatening diseases in millions of people worldwide every year. In search for effective bioactive hybrid molecules, which may possess improved properties compared to their parent compounds, a series of betulinic acid/betulin based dimer and hybrid compounds carrying ferrocene and/or artesunic acid moieties, was designed and, synthesized de novo. Furthermore, they were analyzed in vitro against malaria parasites (growth inhibition of 3D7-strain P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes) and human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). From this series of hybrids/dimers, the betulinic acid/betulin and artesunic acid hybrids 11 and 12 showed the most potent activities against P. falciparum and HCMV. On the strength of results, additive and/or synergistic effects between the natural or semisynthetic products, such as betulinic acid-/betulin- and artesunic acid-derived compounds, are suggested on the basis of putatively complex modes of antimicrobial action. This advantage may be taken into account in future drug development.