The human gastrointestinal tract possesses a great variety of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria which are capable of catalysing metabolic reactions of reduction, hydrolysis and heterocyclic ring rupture generating non-polar low molecular weight metabolites. Filamentous fungi are eukaryotic organisms and the enzymatic apparatus is similar to those of mammals producing polar high molecular weight metabolites via oxidation and conjugation. Quinones are widespread in nature and are used as colorant in cosmetics and foods, besides its application in medicine as antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, among others. The naphthoquinones are quinones with a naftalenic ring. There are manuscripts in the literature that describes the formation of cytotoxic quinones after oxidative metabolism of some xenobiotics. The aim of this work is to investigate the action of gastrointestinal bacteria,including probiotic strains, and filamentous fungi above naphthoquinones with different structural skeleton. The extracts from the cultures containing biotransformation products will be submitted to different chromatographic procedures in order to obtain isolated compounds, which will have their chemical structures elucidated and the majority compounds will be evaluated regarding their toxicity. The studies developed in order to understand the metabolism of naphthoquinones may also contribute to the understanding of the steps of biotransformation of drugs with related structures.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: