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Examination of the Cytotoxic and Embryotoxic Potential and Underlying Mechanisms of Next-Generation Synthetic Trioxolane and Tetraoxane Antimalarials

Copple, I, Mercer, A, Firman, JW, Donegan, G, Herpers, B, Wong, M, Chadwick, J, Bringela, A, Cristiano, M, van de Water, B, Ward, S, O'Neill, P and Park, BK (2012) Examination of the Cytotoxic and Embryotoxic Potential and Underlying Mechanisms of Next-Generation Synthetic Trioxolane and Tetraoxane Antimalarials. Molecular Medicine, 18 (7). pp. 1045-1055. ISSN 1076-1551

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Semisynthetic artemisinin-based therapies are the first-line treatment for P. falciparum malaria, but next-generation synthetic drug candidates are urgently required to improve availability and respond to the emergence of artemisinin-resistant parasites. Artemisinins are embryotoxic in animal models and induce apoptosis in sensitive mammalian cells. Understanding the cytotoxic propensities of antimalarial drug candidates is crucial to their successful development and utilization. Here, we demonstrate that, similarly to the model artemisinin artesunate (ARS), a synthetic tetraoxane drug candidate (RKA182) and a trioxolane equivalent (FBEG100) induce embryotoxicity and depletion of primitive erythroblasts in a rodent model. We also show that RKA182, FBEG100 and ARS are cytotoxic toward a panel of established and primary human cell lines, with caspase-dependent apoptosis and caspase-independent necrosis underlying the induction of cell death. Although the toxic effects of RKA182 and FBEG100 proceed more rapidly and are relatively less cell-selective than that of ARS, all three compounds are shown to be dependent upon heme, iron and oxidative stress for their ability to induce cell death. However, in contrast to previously studied artemisinins, the toxicity of RKA182 and FBEG100 is shown to be independent of general chemical decomposition. Although tetraoxanes and trioxolanes have shown promise as next-generation antimalarials, the data described here indicate that adverse effects associated with artemisinins, including embryotoxicity, cannot be ruled out with these novel compounds, and a full understanding of their toxicological actions will be central to the continuing design and development of safe and effective drug candidates which could prove important in the fight against malaria.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0304 Medicinal And Biomolecular Chemistry, 0601 Biochemistry And Cell Biology
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions: Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences
Publisher: The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Date Deposited: 14 May 2018 11:16
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 02:41
DOI or ID number: 10.2119/molmed.2012.00154
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8657
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