A new antimalarial compound is found in mold

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March 4, 2022

Bringing new hope for developing a novel controlling agent

A research team at the RIKEN CSRS identified a new potent antimalarial compound in a chemically treated fungus.

Many drugs including chloroquine have been developed to control malaria. But the development of new antimalarials has been required to take measures against the emergence of resistant strains.

In this study, the team successfully obtained a new natural compound dihydrolucilactaene (DHLC), which shows a potent antimalarial activity, from a fungus treated with a secondary metabolism regulator. DHLC exhibited a very strong activity with the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 1.5 nanomolar (nM, 1nM = 10-9 M). Furthermore, this compound demonstrates a strong efficacy against the strain resistant to chloroquine, which is known as an antimalarial, so it could become a novel antimalarial or its lead compound.

The findings of this research will contribute to preventing the spread of malaria, which might escalate due to climate change.

Original article
Journal of Natural Products doi:10.1021/acs.jnatprod.1c00677
I. A. Abdelhakim, F. B. Mahmud, T. Motoyama, Y. Futamura, S. Takahashi, H. Osada,
"Dihydrolucilactaene, a Potent Antimalarial Compound from Fusarium sp. RK97-94".
Islam Adel Abdelhakim; Student Trainee
Takayuki Motoyama; Senior Research Scientist
Hiroyuki Osada; Group Director
Chemical Biology Research Group