Discovery of DNA Topoisomerase I Inhibitors with Low-Cytotoxicity Based on Virtual Screening from Natural Products
Smallanthus sonchifolius is a traditional Andean plant which has been cultured mainly in Brazil, Japan and New Zealand due to its medicinal properties. A study of the endophytic fungi associated to the plant was carried out in order to characterize new cytotoxic agents. Thirty two fungal strains were isolated and submitted to cultivation and extraction producing 186 extracts. Of these, 12% displayed moderate to high cytotoxic activities and were considered promising anticancer compound sources. The ethyl acetate fractions of Nigrospora sphaerica and Phoma betae liquid fermentations contained the synergistic compounds 8-hydroxy-6-methoxy-3-methylisocoumarin and (22E,24R)-ergosta-4,6,8(14),22-tetraen-3-one which are potential compounds for drug discovery. Another isolated compound, pimara-7,15-dien-3-beta-ol diterpene is being characterized for the first time through a detailed spectroscopic analysis including GC/MS, homo- and hetero-nuclear correlated NMR experiments (HMQC, HMBC, COSY and NOEdiff) along with its optical rotation.