3,4-erythro-7-dichloromethyl-3-methyl-3,4,8-trichloro-1,5E,7Eoctatriene is an important Namibian cytotoxic lead compound
The selectivity of this compound, together with that of the famed Halomon, was tested for different solid tumor
cell lines with respect to the CCRF-CEM leukemia cell lines according to the disk diffusion assay. The selectivity
of the two compounds were similar in many respects, however Halomon had an IC50 (µ/mL) of 0.37 versus 1.3
for 3,4-erythro-7-dichloromethyl-3-methyl-3,4,8-trichloro-1,5E,7E-octatriene (Vogel et al., 2014). In addition,
3,4-erythro-7-dichloromethyl-3-methyl-3,4,8-trichloro-1,5E,7E-octatriene was also evaluated for cytotoxic effects
on an esophageal cancer cell line (WHCO1) and had an IC50 (µM) of 8.5, which is greater cytotoxicity in this
assay compared to the known anticancer drug cisplatin, which had an IC50 (µM) of 13 (Antunes et al., 2011).
Using nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry, I was also excited to find that this compound is also
the major metabolite found in Namibian Plocamium cornutum species. It is relatively easy to isolate in reasonably
good quantities using only liquid-liquid partition separation techniques. In addition, the surprising yields enable
numerous additional in vitro or in vivo testing to be carried out on this compound here in Namibia.