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Vennila Arivoli and Dr M Vasanthi
Department of Biotechnonology, Kamaraj College of Engineering and Technology,


Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring
symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction and bronchospasm. Common symptoms include
wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. This is due to the swelling or
inflammation of the airway, causing narrowing and constriction. People suffer more from asthma
in developing nations than those with higher socio-economical standards. More than 180,000
people die due to asthma each year and most of the deaths are preventable through timely
medication and long term management. Asthma is incurable, and treatments are based more on
the alleviation of its symptoms than in finding a cure. In the present study, the alkaloids of the
genus Elaeocarpus (rudraksha) have been taken into consideration as possible inhibitors of
phosphodiesterase (PDE) 4D, phosphotidyinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and p38 Mitogen Activated
Protein (MAP) kinase which are drug targets related to asthma. 8 alkaloids have been identified
for the study, which are exclusive to the Elaeocarpus genus. Since it is essential to narrow the
time taken to find the right alkaloid as well as the cost, in silico methods have been employed to
study the inhibitory effects of Elaeocarpus alkaloids on anti-asthmatic drug targets. The
predicted results revealed that isoelaeocarpiline, an indolizidine alkaloid from the genus
Elaeocarpus cleared toxicity evaluation tests and had an overall drug score of 0.9.
Isoelaeocarpiline exhibited inhibitory properties for the enzyme Phosphodiesterase 4D. Other
alkaloids, elaeocarpidine and (-) isoelaeocarpiline were also predicted to be potential drug
molecules with overall drug scores of 0.88 and 0.9 respectively. Further validation needs to be
done through in vitro studies to confirm that isoelaeocarpiline could be a lead drug molecule for
the treatment of asthma.

Keywords: Asthma, Elaeocarpus, alkaloids, enzyme inhibiton, PDE 4D, p38 MAP kinase, PI3K.