Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 99, Issue 8, pp 3443–3446 | Cite as

Biotransformation of artemisinin by Aspergillus niger

Biotechnological products and process engineering


Biotransformation of artemisinin (1) by Aspergillus niger was investigated. During 12 days at 28 °C and pH 6.0, A. niger transformed artemisinin into four products. They were identified as 3β-hydroxy-4,12-epoxy-1-deoxyartemisinin (2), artemisinin G (3), 3,13-epoxyartemisinin (4), and 4α-hydroxy-1-deoxyartemisinin (5). Products 2 and 4 are new compounds and are being reported here for the first time. The product 4 contains a 3,13-epoxy structure. This is the first report of epoxidation of artemisinin using microbial strains. The product 4 still has an intact peroxide bridge and therefore can be used as a scaffold for further structural modification using chemical and biological methods in the search for new antimalarial drugs.


Biotransformation Artemisinin Antimalarial drugs Aspergillus niger 



This work was supported by the CDC Cooperative (agreement number U01 CI000211), and the content is solely the responsibility of the authors. This investigation was conducted in a facility constructed with support from research facilities improvement program C06RR14503 from the NIH National Center for Research Resources.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Life and Environmental SciencesGuilin University of Electronic TechnologyGuilinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Medicinal ChemistryUniversity of MississippiUniversityUSA
  3. 3.Division of Extramural Research, National Center for Complementary and Alternative MedicineNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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