- Guide to PHARMACOLOGY
Compound class: Natural product or derivative
Comment: Artemisinin is a sesquiterpene lactone with an unusual endoperoxide bridge, believed to be responsible for the antimalarial activity of the compound. It is a natural product, isolated from the qinghao or sweet wormwood plant (Artemisia annua) and used in Chinese traditional medicine to treat fever.
Artemisinin is a prodrug that is converted to the active metabolite artenimol (dihydroartemisinin).
We show one representation of artemisinin here. As with other natural products, there are alternative chemical structures due to the complex stereochemistry.
The Malaria tab on this ligand page provides additional curator comments of relevance to the Guide to MALARIA PHARMACOLOGY.
Ligand Activity Visualisation Charts
These are box plot that provide a unique visualisation, summarising all the activity data for a ligand taken from ChEMBL and GtoPdb across multiple targets and species. Click on a plot to see the median, interquartile range, low and high data points. A value of zero indicates that no data are available. A separate chart is created for each target, and where possible the algorithm tries to merge ChEMBL and GtoPdb targets by matching them on name and UniProt accession, for each available species. However, please note that inconsistency in naming of targets may lead to data for the same target being reported across multiple charts.✖
|Guide to Malaria Pharmacology Comments|
|Artemisinin was first isolated in the early 1970s during antimalarial research initiated by the Chinese military (Project 523) and led to one half of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine being awarded to Tu Youyou for her work on the discovery and isolation of the compound .
A number of semisynthetic artemisinin derivatives have been developed that have an improved pharmacokinetic profile, these include artemether, artesunate, and artemotil.
Artemisinin and derivatives have potent activity against the asexual blood stage of P. falciparum (including chloroquine-resistant strains) and are characterised by an extremely rapid parasitemia clearance and a short terminal half-life of elimination. Combination therapies, containing an artemisinin derivative (artemisinin-combination therapies, ACTs), are recommended by the World Health Organization as the standard treatment for uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria .
Potential Target/Mechanism Of Action: As the precise mechanism of action of artemisinin is not yet known, we do not have a molecular target for this compound.