Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design

, Volume 19, Issue 8, pp 617–623 | Cite as

VolSurf analysis of pharmacokinetic properties for several antifungal sesquiterpene lactones isolated from Greek Centaurea sp.

  • Catherine KoukoulitsaEmail author
  • George D. Geromichalos
  • Helen Skaltsa


Sesquiterpene lactones are terpenoid compounds characteristic of the Asteraceae (Compositae) possessing a variety of biological activities, such as cytotoxic, antitumor, antibacterial, and antifungal. The prediction of the pharmacokinetic profile of several antifungal sesquiterpene lactones, isolated from Greek taxa of Centaurea sp., was undertaken in this study using the VolSurf procedure. The molecules were projected on the following pre-calculated ADME models: Caco-2 cell permeability, plasma protein affinity, blood–brain barrier permeation and thermodynamic solubility. The in silico projection revealed a non optimal pharmacokinetic profile for the studied compounds. ADME in silico screening of a semi-synthetic derivatives virtual library has been performed in order to optimize the pharmacokinetic properties. A number of derivatives were proposed as it was predicted to have higher Caco-2 cell permeability, while the pharmacokinetic behaviour regarding BBB penetration, protein binding and solubility was mainly preserved.


ADME, sesquiterpene lactones, virtual screening, VolSurf 



absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion


blood brain barrier


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We are grateful to Prof. Gabriele Cruciani (Laboratory for Chemometrics, School of Chemistry, University of Perugia, Italy) for providing us the VolSurf program (version 4, Linux,, and also to Dr. Emanuele Carosati and Dr. Giovanni Cianchetta (same laboratory) for helpful advises. This research was financially supported by the Italian Ministry of Education.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Koukoulitsa
    • 1
    Email author
  • George D. Geromichalos
    • 2
  • Helen Skaltsa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacognosy & Chemistry of Natural Products, School of PharmacyUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Symeonidio Research CenterTheagenio Cancer HospitalThessalonikiGreece

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