Synthesis of Argemone mexicana Inspired Antimicrobial Agents
Arts and Sciences
Bacterial and fungal infections occur when microorganisms invade the tissue and, if left untreated, can affect the whole body. Pathogenic bacterial and fungal infections are some of the leading causes of death in the population at large. Due to the ever-growing prevalence of drug-resistant “superbugs” and the lack of new antimicrobial drugs, there is a need to explore new and alternative pathways for fighting these diseases. Through a collaborative project, we have explored separation of key components of the extracts of the Argemone mexicana plant to isolate antimicrobial agents found within this plant. We have already identified three key molecules which give this plant anti-microbial properties against gram-positive bacteria. Guided by the structures of these plant-derived molecules, our current work is now focused on designing and synthesizing new variants of these bioactive molecules in the hopes of discovering new, more potent, drugs. Thus far, several of our synthetic variants have shown promising activity over the original phytochemicals isolated from the plant.
Villegas, Jessica; Ball, Bryce; Bhakta, Hannah; Gonzalez, Emily; Wasserman, Ashley; Bee, Helene; Orozco-Nunnelly, Danielle; and Pruet, Jeffrey, "Synthesis of Argemone mexicana Inspired Antimicrobial Agents" (2022). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 1062.