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O'Donnell G, et al. (2009) J Nat Prod 72(3):360-365

Bioactive Pyridine-N-oxide Disulfides from Allium stipitatum

O'Donnell G, Poeschl R, Zimhony O, Gunaratnam M, Moreira JB, Neidle S, Evangelopoulos D, Bhakta S, Malkinson JP, Boshoff HI, Lenaerts A, Gibbons S

From Allium stipitatum, three pyridine-N-oxide alkaloids (1-3) possessing disulfide functional groups were isolated. The structures of these natural products were elucidated by spectroscopic means as 2-(methyldithio)pyridine-N-oxide (1), 2-[(methylthiomethyl)dithio]pyridine-N-oxide (2), and 2,2'-dithio-bis-pyridine-N-oxide (3). The proposed structure of 1 was confirmed by synthetic S-methylthiolation of commercial 2-thiopyridine-N-oxide. Compounds 1 and 2 are new natural products, and 3 is reported for the first time from an Allium species. All compounds were evaluated for activity against fast-growing species of Mycobacterium, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and a multidrug-resistant (MDR) variants of S. aureus. Compounds 1 and 2 exhibited minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of 0.5-8 mug/mL against these strains. A small series of analogues of 1 were synthesized in an attempt to optimize antibacterial activity, although the natural product had the most potent in vitro activity. In a whole-cell assay at 30 mug/mL, 1 was shown to give complete inhibition of the incorporation of (14)C-labeled acetate into soluble fatty acids, indicating that it is potentially an inhibitor of fatty acid biosynthesis. In a human cancer cell line antiproliferative assay, 1 and 2 displayed IC(50) values ranging from 0.3 to 1.8 muM with a selectivity index of 2.3 when compared to a human somatic cell line. Compound 1 was evaluated in a microarray analysis that indicated a similar mode of action to menadione and 8-quinolinol by interfering with the thioredoxin system and up-regulating the production of various heat shock proteins. This compound was also assessed in a mouse model for in vivo toxicity.

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