Spongian Diterpenoids Derived from the Antarctic Sponge Dendrilla antarctica Are Potent Inhibitors of the Leishmania Parasite

Academic Article


  • From the CH2Cl2 extract of the Antarctic sponge Dendrilla antarctica we found spongian diterpenes, including previously reported aplysulphurin (1), tetrahydroaplysulphurin-1 (2), membranolide (3), and darwinolide (4), utilizing a CH2Cl2/MeOH extraction scheme. However, the extracts also yielded diterpenes bearing one or more methyl acetal functionalities (5-9), two of which are previously unreported, while others are revised here. Further investigation of diterpene reactivity led to additional new metabolites (10-12), which identified them as well as the methyl acetals as artifacts from methanolysis of aplysulphurin. The bioactivity of the methanolysis products, membranoids A-H (5-12), as well as natural products 1-4, were assessed for activity against Leishmania donovani-infected J774A.1 macrophages, revealing insights into their structure/activity relationships. Four diterpenes, tetrahydroaplysulphurin-1 (2) as well as membranoids B (6), D (8), and G (11), displayed low micromolar activity against L. donovani with no discernible cytotoxicity against uninfected J774A.1 cells. Leishmaniasis is a neglected tropical disease that affects one million people every year and can be fatal if left untreated.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Shilling AJ; Witowski CG; Maschek JA; Azhari A; Vesely BA; Kyle DE; Amsler CD; McClintock JB; Baker BJ
  • Start Page

  • 1553
  • End Page

  • 1562
  • Volume

  • 83
  • Issue

  • 5