Hidden Gem: A Salt Marsh Plant Could Maintain a Treatment for Malaria


Scientists uncover new antimalarial chemical substances in a salt marsh plant species historically utilized in people medication in Korea

Many researchers on the hunt for novel bioactive substances have just lately begun to deal with marine assets. However crops that develop in tidal flats stay largely unexplored. Now, scientists from the Korea Maritime and Ocean College uncover that Vitex rotundifolia, a salt marsh plant utilized in conventional medication in Korea, produces a number of chemical substances with antimalarial properties, showcasing the untapped potential of salt marsh crops for the event of botanical medicine.

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Picture credit score: Korea Maritime & Ocean College

Tidal flats are marshy parts of land which can be coated and uncovered by the rise and fall of the tides. These distinctive ecosystems are house to many species of salt marsh crops that handle to thrive in excessive salinity situations due to their distinctive inner chemistry. May chemical compounds produced by these crops be a novel supply of bioactive compounds helpful to people?

In line with a latest examine published in Bioorganic Chemistry, the reply is a powerful sure! A group of scientists, together with Prof Youngwan Website positioning from the Division of Marine Bioscience at Korea Maritime and Ocean College, found salt marsh plant native to international locations throughout the Pacific seas from Korea to Australia, Hawaii, and India, known as Vitex rotundifolia, might maintain the secrets and techniques to a novel anti-malaria drug. Utilizing superior spectroscopic strategies, the scientists extracted and recognized eight completely different diterpenoids―a category of natural molecules with antimicrobial properties―from V. rotundifolia samples. They then examined the results of those compounds on malaria cultures.

Three of those compounds turned out to have outstanding antimalarial results, one in every of which was even new to science. V. rotundifolia has been utilized in conventional people medication for hundreds of years, and it’s subsequently very possible that the plant is just not poisonous to people. Furthermore, the group of scientists in contrast the constructions of the extracted diterpenoids and gained some perception into the potential causes of their completely different antimalarial qualities. Excited in regards to the outcomes, Prof Website positioning feedback: “Although marine organisms are at present within the highlight as a supply of recent bioactive substances, tidal flat crops haven’t attracted that a lot curiosity. Our findings showcase the potential of salt marsh crops inhabiting the brackish waters of Korea for the event of botanical medicine.”

Contemplating that malaria is among the many deadliest infectious illnesses, the promising findings of this examine mild a beacon of hope for these uncovered to this mosquito-borne menace. Prof Website positioning additionally remarks: “As antibiotic resistance increases and terrestrial resources become scarce, unconventional marine resources such as salt marsh plants will become increasingly important.” What different helpful substances will we discover among the many roughly 100 species of salt marsh crops rising within the Korean Peninsula? Solely time will inform!


Authors: You Ah Kim1, Abdul Latif2, Chang-Suk Kong3, Youngwan Website positioning1*, Seema R. Dalal4, Maria B. Cassera5, and David G.I. Kingston6

Title of authentic paper: Antimalarial diterpenoids from Vitex rotundifolia: Isolation, construction elucidation, and in vitro antiplasmodial exercise

Journal: Bioorganic Chemistry

DOI: 10.1016/j.bioorg.2020.103925


1Division of Marine Bioscience, Korea Maritime and Ocean College

2Division of Chemistry, College of Malakand

3Division of Meals and Diet, Faculty of Medical and Life Sciences, Silla College

4Division of Biochemistry and Virginia Tech Middle for Drug Discovery

5Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Middle for Tropical and Rising International Ailments (CTEGD), College of Georgia

6Division of Chemistry and the Virginia Tech Middle for Drug Discovery

In regards to the writer

Dr Youngwan Website positioning acquired a PhD in natural artificial chemistry from Seoul Nationwide College, Korea, in 1991. He then labored on the Korea Ocean Analysis and Improvement Institute (KORDI), the place he studied the isolation, construction elucidation, and structure-activity relationships of biologically lively marine pure merchandise. In 1999, he joined Kingston’s group at Virginia Tech, USA, as a analysis affiliate. He later grew to become a Professor on the Division of Marine Bioscience on the Korea Maritime and Ocean College. His analysis pursuits are the isolation, construction willpower, and chemical transformation of biologically lively pure merchandise from marine organisms, with a selected deal with their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-photoaging, and anticancer properties.

Supply: Korea Maritime & Ocean University

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