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Artemisinin and various derivatives are potent anti-malaria drugs which have additionally anti-tumorigenic effects, particularly when targeted at mitochondria. The anti-malaria effect is associated with artemisinin's action on heme. Mitochondria are involved in the synthesis of heme, and may play additional roles in the anti-tumorigenic effect of artemisinin.

Reference: Sun 2017 Sci Rep

Artemisinin and mitObesity

Work in progress by Gnaiger E 2020-02-12 linked to a preprint in preparation on BME and mitObesity.
Discussion of Artemisinin in the context of MitObesity drugs may be surprising, since it is a drug mainly known in the field of malaria — the prototype of a communicable disease, unrelated to obesity. In contrast, bioactive mitObesity compounds address non-communicable diseases associated with obesity. However, the involvement of mitochondria in the mode of action of bioactive mitObesity compounds and the anti-tumorigenic effect of artemisinin provide an interesting link.

References: Aremisinin

  1. Sun C, Cao Y, Zhu P, Zhou B (2017) A mitochondria-targeting artemisinin derivative with sharply increased antitumor but depressed anti-yeast and anti-malaria activities. Sci Rep 7:45665. - »Bioblast link«

MitoPedia: mitObesity drugs


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CurcuminCurcumin has been shown to possess significant anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic, anti-coagulant and anti-infective effects. The protective effects of curcumin on rat heart mitochondrial injuries induced by in vitro anoxia–reoxygenation were evaluated by Xu et al 2013. It was found that curcumin added before anoxia or immediately prior to reoxygenation exhibited remarkable protective effects against anoxia–reoxygenation induced oxidative damage to mitochondria.
ElamipretideBendaviaBendavia (Elamipretide) was developed as a mitochondria-targeted drug against degenerative diseases, including cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury. Clinical trials showed variable results. It is a cationic tetrapeptide which readily passes cell membranes, associates with cardiolipin in the mitochondrial inner membrane. Supercomplex-associated CIV activity significantly improved in response to elamipretide treatment in the failing human heart.
FlavonoidsFlavonoids are a group of bioactive polyphenols with potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, abundant in fruits and vegetables, and in some medicinal herbs. Flavonoids are synthesized in plants from phenylalanine. Dietary intake of flavonoids as nutraceuticals is discussed for targeting T2D and other degenerative diseases.
MelatoninaMTMelatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, aMT) is a highly conserved molecule present in unicellular to vertebrate organisms. Melatonin is synthesized from tryptophan in the pinealocytes by the pineal gland and also is produced in other organs, tissues and fluids (extrapineal melatonin). Melatonin has lipophilic and hydrophilic nature which allows it to cross biological membranes. Therefore, melatonin is present in all subcellular compartments predominantly in the nucleus and mitochondria. Melatonin has pleiotropic functions with powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and oncostatic effects with a wide spectrum of action particularly at the level of mitochondria. » MiPNet article
MetforminMetformin is mainly known as an important antidiabetic drug which is effective, however, in a wide spectrum of degenerative diseases. It is an inhibitor of Complex I.
RapamycinRapamycin is an inhibitor of the mammalian/mechanistic target of rapamycin, complex 1 (mTORC1). Rapamycin induces autophagy and dyscouples mitochondrial respiration. Rapamycin delays senescence in human cells, and extends lifespan in mice without detrimental effects on mitochondrial fitness in skeletal muscle.
ResveratrolResveratrol is a natural bioactive phenol prouced by several plants with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Dietary intake as nutraceutical is discussed for targeting mitochondria with a wide spectrum of action in degenerative diseases.
SpermidineSpermidine is a polycationic bioactive polyamine mainly found in wheat germ, soybean and various vegetables, involved in the regulation of mitophagy, cell growth and cell death. Like other caloric restriction mimetics, spermidine is effective in cardioprotection, neuroprotection and anticancer immunosuppression by preserving mitochondrial function and control of autophagy.
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