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Discovery of Phytoalexin Camalexin and Its Derivatives as Novel Antiviral and Antiphytopathogenic-Fungus Agents

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journal contribution
posted on 18.02.2022, 12:03 authored by Ancai Liao, Lin Li, Tienan Wang, Aidang Lu, Ziwen Wang, Qingmin Wang
In response to the invasion of plant viruses and pathogenic fungi, higher plants produce defensive allelochemicals. Finding candidate varieties of botanical pesticides based on allelochemicals is one of the important ways to create efficient and green pesticides. Here, a series of camalexin derivatives based on a phytoalexin camalexin scaffold were designed, synthesized, and assessed for their antiviral and fungicidal activities systematically. Most of these camalexin derivatives exhibited better antiviral activities against tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) than the control antiviral agent ribavirin. Under the same test conditions, the anti-TMV activities of compounds 3d, 5a, 5d, and 10f10h were found to be equivalent to or better than that of ningnanmycin, an agricultural cytosine nucleoside antibiotic with excellent protective effect. The antiviral mechanism research showed that compound 5a could cause 20S CP disk fusion and disintegration, thus affecting the assembly of virus particles. The results of molecular docking indicate that there were obvious hydrogen bonds between compounds 3d, 5a, and 10f and TMV CP. The binding constants of compounds 5a and 10f to TMV CP were also calculated using fluorescence titration. These camalexin derivatives also presented broad spectrum fungicidal activities, especially for Rhizoctonia solani and Physalospora piricola. In this work, the design, synthesis, structure optimization, and mode of action of camalexin derivatives were carried out progressively. This work provides a reference for using defensive chemical compounds as novel pesticide lead compounds.