Chemical profiling of fungal strains for natural products with anticonvulsive activity

University of Aberdeen

Past award

Student: Calum Gibb : University of Aberdeen

Year Award Started: 2017

There is an urgent need for new drugs to improve the quality of living for patients who suffer from convulsive disorders (epileptic and non-epileptic seizures). Just to give one example, epilepsy is estimated to affect more than 500,000 people in the UK alone. Current treatment options include a variety of drugs belonging to many (>10) structurally unrelated classes of compounds, and while some of these may block sodium channels or enhance γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) function, for most of them the mode of action is unknown. As part of the PharmaSea project, we recently discovered that compounds related to the fungal natural product, pseurotin show promising anticonvulsive activity, both in zebrafish embryos in vitro tests as well as in mice. Our approach is focused on increasing production levels and in identifying new pseurotin-type compounds in extracts of fungal strains which are related to the current producing strain, to make them available for further in vivo testing.

Research area: Neurological conditions (including stroke)


Dr Rainer Ebel
Department of Chemistry