UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Isolation and structure elucidation of bioactive marine natural products Daoust, Julie


Clionamines A-D (2.6-2.9) are new aminosteroids isolated from South African specimens of the sponge Cliona celata. All four compounds (2.6-2.9) are activators of autophagy in MCF-7 cells. Autophagy is a catabolic process that plays an important role in maintaining cellular homeostasis. Autophagy is also directly involved in the removal of bacterial and viral antigens and in the development of cancerous tumors. The novel sesterterpenoid ansellone A (3.4) was isolated from the nudibranch Cadlina luteomarginata and was later found to have been sequestered by the nudibranch from the sponge Phorbas sp. Ansellone A (3.4) is an activator of the cAMP signalling pathway. Following the isolation of 3.4, the novel sesterterpenoids ansellones B-D (4.3-4.5) as well as alotaketal E (4.6) were isolated from the sponge Phorbas sp. and were found to also be activators of the cAMP signalling pathway. Several bacterial isolates were obtained from the sponge Phorbas sp. in order to investigate the possibility that the ansellones and the alotaketals isolated from this sponge were biosynthesized by a bacterial symbiont. Since these sesterterpenoids were activators of the cAMP signalling pathway, the investigation was conducted using bioassay guided fractionation of the bacterial isolates. The new meroterpenoid phorbasolic acid (5.1) was isolated, but no sesterterpenoids were found in the bacterial isolates. In an effort to identify molecules with antibiotic properties, a biological assay was designed to screen for inhibitors of the citrate synthase type II enzyme. One aspect of this enzyme that is of therapeutic interest is that Gram-negative bacteria possess a very different isoform of the enzyme than Gram-positive bacteria and eukaryotes. Therefore, an antibiotic specific to type II citrate synthase would target Gram-negative bacteria selectively. An extract from a culture of Bacillus pumillus inhibited the enzyme in the assay. Although the molecule responsible for this effect has yet to be identified, the new aliphatic amide 12-methyl tridecanamide (6.1) was isolated.

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