Naturally Occurring 8ß,13ß-kaur-15-en-17-al and Anti-Malarial Activity from Podocarpus polystachyus Leaves

Mira Syahfriena Amir Rawa, Mohammad G. Al-Thiabat, Toshihiko Nogawa, Yushi Futamura, Akiko Okano, Habibah A. Wahab*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Despite much interest and studies toward the genus Podocarpus, the anti-malarial evaluation of Podocarpus polystachyus’s phytoconstituents remains lacking. Herein, the phytoconstituents of P. polystachyus leaves and their anti-malarial effect against Plasmodium falciparum were investigated for the first time. One new natural product, 8ß,13ß-kaur-15-en-17-al (1), along with three known compounds, 8ß,13ß-kaur-15-en-17-ol (2) and 13ß-kaur-16-ene (3), and α-tocopherol hydroquinone (4) were isolated via HR-ESI-MS and NMR analyses. Compounds 1 and 2 inhibited P. falciparum growth at 12 and 52 µM of IC50, respectively. Their anti-malarial activity was associated with the in silico P. falciparum lactate dehydrogenase (PfLDH) inhibition. Molecular docking of ligands 1 and 2 with the putative target PfLDH revealed ~−2 kcal/mol of binding energies more negative than the control. Molecular dynamic simulations (100 ns) showed equal or smaller deviation values (RMSD, RMSF, Rg) and stronger interactions of PfLDH-1 and PfLDH-2 complexes via at least one consistent H-bond than the control. Additionally, a slightly increased PfLDH H-bond profile in their interactions improved the PfLDH dynamic and structural stabilities. Overall, this study supports the relevance of 1 and 2 as plasmodial growth inhibitors with their putative anti-PfLDH activity, which could be a potential scaffold for developing anti-malarial drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number902
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • PfLDH
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Podocarpaceae
  • Podocarpus polystachyus
  • anti-malarial
  • isolation
  • kaurene
  • molecular docking
  • molecular dynamics
  • structure elucidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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