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Antimalarial activity of new dihydroartemisinin derivatives. 6. alpha-Alkylbenzylic ethers.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of medicinal chemistry
Publication Date
Volume
38
Issue
5
Pages
764–770
Identifiers
PMID: 7877142
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

A series of diastereomeric dihydroartemisinin alpha-alkylbenzylic ethers was synthesized in search for analogs with higher antimalarial efficacy and longer plasma half-life than the existing artemisinin derivatives. Artelinic acid was used as the model molecule for the design of new analogs. Two approaches were taken in an attempt to (a) increase the lipophilicity of the molecule and (b) decrease the rate of oxidative dealkylation of the target compounds. All compounds in this study showed at least equal or better in vitro antimalarial activity against Plasmodium falciparum than artelinic acid. The most active compounds of this series showed 10-, 20-, and 40-fold better inhibitory activity than artemether, artemisinin, and artelinic acid, respectively. Compounds which have a small methyl group substituted at the alpha-methylene group showed weaker activity than compounds with a larger carbethoxyalkyl substituent, indicating that the lipophilicity and the steric effect of the molecules play important roles in their antimalarial activity. This fact is further substantiated by the significantly weaker antimalarial activity of the carboxylic acids than their corresponding esters. Compounds with electron-withdrawing function (NO2) substantially increase the antimalarial activity. The S-diastereomers, in general, are severalfold more potent than the corresponding R-isomer.

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