Luo, J, Mobley, R, Woodfine, S, Drijfhout, F, Horrocks, P, Ren, X-D and Li, W-W (2022) Biotransformation of artemisinin to a novel derivative via ring rearrangement by Aspergillus niger. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 106 (7). pp. 2433-2444. ISSN 1432-0614

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Artemisinin is a component part of current frontline medicines for the treatment of malaria. The aim of this study is to make analogues of artemisinin using microbial transformation and evaluate their in vitro antimalarial activity. A panel of microorganisms were screened for biotransformation of artemisinin (1). The biotransformation products were extracted, purified and isolated using silica gel column chromatography and semi-preparative HPLC. Spectroscopic methods including LC-HRMS, GC-MS, FT-IR, 1D and 2D NMR were used to elucidate the structure of the artemisinin metabolites.H-1 NMR spectroscopy was further used to study the time-course biotransformation. The antiplasmodial activity (IC50) of the biotransformation products of 1 against intraerythrocytic cultures of Plasmodium falciparum were determined using bioluminescence assays. A filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger CICC 2487 was found to possess the best efficiency to convert artemisinin (1) to a novel derivative, 4-methoxy-9,10-dimethyloctahydrofuro-(3,2-i)-isochromen-11(4H)-one (2) via ring rearrangement and further degradation, along with three known derivatives, compound (3), deoxyartemisinin (4) and 3-hydroxy-deoxyartemisinin (5). Kinetic study of the biotransformation of artemisinin indicated the formation of artemisinin G as a key intermediate which could be hydrolyzed and methylated to form the new compound 2. Our study shows that the anti-plasmodial potency of compounds 2, 3, 4 and 5 were ablated compared to 1, which attributed to the loss of the unique peroxide bridge in artemisinin (1). This is the first report of microbial degradation and ring rearrangement of artemisinin with subsequent hydrolysis and methoxylation by A.niger.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biotransformation, Artemisinin, Kinetics, Aspergillus niger, Anti-plasmodial activity
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
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Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2022 08:46
Last Modified: 20 May 2022 08:56

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