Author(s): Fernandes MB, Scotti MT, Ferreira MJ, Emerenciano VP
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Abstract Some sesquiterpene lactones (SLs) are the active compounds of a great number of traditionally medicinal plants from the Asteraceae family and possess considerable cytotoxic activity. Several studies in vitro have shown the inhibitory activity against cells derived from human carcinoma of the nasopharynx (KB). Chemical studies showed that the cytotoxic activity is due to the reaction of alpha,beta-unsaturated carbonyl structures of the SLs with thiols, such as cysteine. These studies support the view that SLs inhibit tumour growth by selective alkylation of growth-regulatory biological macromolecules, such as key enzymes, which control cell division, thereby inhibiting a variety of cellular functions, which directs the cells into apoptosis. In this study we investigated a set of 55 different sesquiterpene lactones, represented by 5 skeletons (22 germacranolides, 6 elemanolides, 2 eudesmanolides, 16 guaianolides and nor-derivatives and 9 pseudoguaianolides), in respect to their cytotoxic properties. The experimental results and 3D molecular descriptors were submitted to Kohonen self-organizing map (SOM) to classify (training set) and predict (test set) the cytotoxic activity. From the obtained results, it was concluded that only the geometrical descriptors showed satisfactory values. The Kohonen map obtained after training set using 25 geometrical descriptors shows a very significant match, mainly among the inactive compounds (approximately 84\%). Analyzing both groups, the percentage seen is high (83\%). The test set shows the highest match, where 89\% of the substances had their cytotoxic activity correctly predicted. From these results, important properties for the inhibition potency are discussed for the whole dataset and for subsets of the different structural skeletons.
This article was published in Eur J Med Chem
and referenced in Journal of Antimicrobial Agents