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Synthesis of Novel 3,4-Chloroisothiazole-Based Imidazoles as Fungicides and Evaluation of Their Mode of Action

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journal contribution
posted on 18.06.2018, 00:00 by Lai Chen, Bin Zhao, Zhijin Fan, Xiumei Liu, Qifan Wu, Hongpeng Li, Haixia Wang
A molecular design approach was used in our laboratory to guide the development of imidazole-based fungicides. Based on homology modeling and molecular docking studies targeting the cytochrome P450-dependent sterol 14α-demethylase, 3,4-dichloroisothiazole-based imidazoles showed great potential. Several such compounds were then rationally designed, synthesized, characterized, and their antifungal activities were evaluated. Bioassay results showed that compounds such as (R)-11, (R)-12, and (S)-11 have commendable, broad-spectrum antifungal activities that are comparable to those of commercial products. Based on Q-PCR testing and microscopy observations, the imidazole derivatives affect fungal cell wall formation through the inhibition of the BcCYP51 expression system. These findings strongly suggest that the mode of action of these imidazole compounds is similar to that of tioconazole and imazalil. This report indicates that this molecular design strategy is not only practical but productive.