Thiazole, oxadiazole, and carboxamide derivatives of artemisinin are highly selective and potent inhibitors of Toxoplasma gondii

J Med Chem. 2010 May 13;53(9):3594-601. doi: 10.1021/jm901857d.


We have prepared 23 new dehydroartemisinin (DART) trioxane derivatives (11 thiazoles, 2 oxadiazoles, and 10 carboxamides) and have screened them for in vitro activity in the Toxoplasma lytic cycle. Fifteen (65%) of the derivatives were noncytotoxic to host cells (TD(50) > or = 320 microM). Eight thiazole derivatives and two carboxamide derivatives displayed effective inhibition of Toxoplasma growth (IC(50) = 0.25-0.42 microM), comparable in potency to artemether (IC(50) = 0.31 microM) and >100 times more inhibitory than the currently employed front-line drug trimethoprim (IC(50) = 46 microM). The thiazoles as a group were more effective than the other derivatives at inhibiting growth of extracellular as well as intracellular parasites. Unexpectedly, two thiazole trioxanes (5 and 6) were parasiticidal; both inhibited parasite replication irreversibly after parasite exposure to 10 microM of drug for 24 h, whereas the standard trioxane drugs artemisinin and artemether were not parasiticidal. Some of the new derivatives of artemisinin described here represent effective anti-Toxoplasma trioxanes as well as molecular probes for elucidating the mechanism of action of the DART class of artemisinin derivatives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amides / chemistry
  • Amides / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Antiparasitic Agents
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / chemistry*
  • Artemisinins / chemistry*
  • Artemisinins / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Humans
  • Oxadiazoles / chemistry
  • Oxadiazoles / pharmacology
  • Parasitic Sensitivity Tests
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Thiazoles / chemistry
  • Thiazoles / pharmacology
  • Toxoplasma / drug effects*
  • Toxoplasma / growth & development


  • Amides
  • Antiparasitic Agents
  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Artemisinins
  • Oxadiazoles
  • Thiazoles