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Antifungal Activity of Griseofulvin Derivatives against Phytopathogenic Fungi in Vitro and in Vivo and Three-Dimensional Quantitative Structure–Activity Relationship Analysis

Bai, Yu-Bin, Gao, Yu-Qi, Nie, Xiao-Di, Tuong, Thi-Mai-Luong, Li, Ding, Gao, Jin-Ming
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2019 v.67 no.22 pp. 6125-6132
Alternaria solani, Botrytis cinerea, Cytospora, Fusarium solani, Glomerella cingulata, antifungal properties, apples, carbon, dermatomycoses, drug resistance, drugs, griseofulvin, inhibitory concentration 50, ionization, mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, plant pathogenic fungi, pollution, quantitative structure-activity relationships, stable isotopes, thiophanate-methyl, toxicity
With environmental pollution, residual hazards accumulate and severe drug resistance and many other problems appear; some highly toxic drugs have been banned, and antifungal agents are far from satisfactory. Natural products play an important role in the discovery and development of new pesticides. The natural product griseofulvin (1) has been known as an antifungal agent in the treatment of dermatomycoses for decades. In this study, a series of new griseofulvin derivatives were synthesized with good yields. Their structures were characterized by ¹H and ¹³C nuclear magnetic resonance and high-resolution mass spectrometry (electrospray ionization). The antifungal activities of griseofulvin analogues were first evaluated against five phytopathogenic fungi (Cytospora sp., Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Botrytis cinerea, Alternaria solani, and Fusarium solani) in vitro. Of significance is that most of them showed excellent antifungal activities against C. gloeosporioides. The antifungal activities of the four best compounds (6a, 6c, 6e, and 6f) against C. gloeosporioides were further investigated in vivo using infected apples. The results suggested that compounds 6c, 6e, and 6f [half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC₅₀) = 47.25 ± 1.46, 49.44 ± 1.50, and 53.63 ± 1.74 μg/mL, respectively] were better than thiophanate-methyl (IC₅₀ = 69.66 ± 6.07 μg/mL). Furthermore, comparative molecular field analysis was performed on the basis of the antifungal activity results of all 22 of the compounds against C. gloeosporioides in vitro. The three-dimensional coefficient contour plots revealed that the suitable bulky and electronegative acyl-substituted groups seem to be more favorable for increasing activity at the 4′ position of griseofulvin. The structure–activity relationships were also discussed. Griseofulvin derivatives can be used for the development of highly effective and safe agricultural fungicides.