A recently discovered secondary metabolism regulator, NPD938, was used to alter the secondary metabolite profile in Fusarium sp. RK97-94. Three lucilactaene analogues were detected via UPLC-ESI-MS analysis in NPD938-treated culture. The three metabolites were successfully purified and identified as dihydroNG391 (1), dihydrolucilactaene (2), and 13α-hydroxylucilactaene (3) via extensive spectroscopic analyses. DihydroNG391 (1) exhibited weak in vitro antimalarial activity (IC50 = 62 μM). In contrast, dihydrolucilactaene (2) and 13α-hydroxylucilactaene (3) showed very potent antimalarial activity (IC50 = 0.0015 and 0.68 μM, respectively). These findings provide insight into the structure-activity relationship of lucilactaene and its analogues as antimalarial lead compounds.
A new labdane diterpene glucoside, curcumanggoside (1), together with nine known compounds, including labda-8(17),12-diene-15,16-dial (2), calcaratarin A (3), zerumin B (4), scopoletin, demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin, 1,7-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-1,4,6-heptatrien-3-one, curcumin, and p-hydroxycinnamic acid, have been isolated from the rhizomes of Curcuma mangga. Their structures were determined using a combination of 1D (1H NMR, 13C NMR, DEPT) and 2D (COSY, HSQC, HMBC) NMR techniques. All diarylheptanoids and scopoletin showed significant antioxidant activity. Zerumin B, demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin, and curcumin also exhibited cytotoxic activity against a panel of five human tumor cell lines.
Five new stilbenoids, vatalbinosides A-E (1-5), and 13 known compounds (6-18) were isolated from the stem of Vatica albiramis. The effects of these new compounds on interleukin-1β-induced production of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) in human dermal fibroblasts were examined. Three resveratrol tetramers, (-)-hopeaphenol (6), vaticanol C (13), and stenophyllol C (14), were identified as strong inhibitors of MMP-1 production.
Tengerensine (1), isolated as a racemate and constituted from a pair of bis-benzopyrroloisoquinoline enantiomers, and tengechlorenine (2), purified as a scalemic mixture and constituted from a pair of chlorinated phenanthroindolizidine enantiomers, were isolated from the leaves of Ficus fistulosa var. tengerensis, along with three other known alkaloids. The structures of 1 and 2 were determined by spectroscopic data interpretation and X-ray diffraction analysis. The enantiomers of 1 were separated by chiral-phase HPLC, and the absolute configurations of (+)-1 and (-)-1 were established via experimental and calculated ECD data. Compound 1 is notable in being a rare unsymmetrical cyclobutane adduct and is the first example of a dimeric benzopyrroloisoquinoline alkaloid, while compound 2 represents the first naturally occurring halogenated phenanthroindolizidine alkaloid. Compound (+)-1 displayed a selective in vitro cytotoxic effect against MDA-MB-468 cells (IC50 7.4 μM), while compound 2 showed pronounced in vitro cytotoxic activity against all three breast cancer cell lines tested (MDA-MB-468, MDA-MB-231, and MCF7; IC50 values of 0.038-0.91 μM).
Two new diterpene pyrones, asperginols A (1) and B (2), and four known analogues (3-6) were isolated from the endophytic fungus Aspergillus sp. HAB10R12. The structures and absolute configurations of these compounds were elucidated based on the analysis of their NMR, MS, and X-ray diffraction data. The revision of the absolute configurations at C-10, C-11, and C-14 of the known diterpene pyrones (3-6) and the determination of the configuration at the polyene side chain for compounds (4-6) were made using chemical methods and vibrational circular dichroism analysis. This group of diterpene pyrone compounds showed unique structural features including a 7/6/6 tricyclic diterpene moiety with an unusual trans-syn-trans stereochemical arrangement. Compound 6 showed moderate activity against the HT-29 colon cancer cell line.
Bioassay-guided fractionation of an ethyl acetate extract of Fissistigma lanuginosum led to the isolation of the known chalcone pedicin , which inhibited tubulin assembly into microtubules (IC50 value of 300 microM). From the same EtOAc fraction, two new condensed chalcones, fissistin  and isofissistin , which showed cytotoxicity against KB cells, were also obtained, together with the inactive dihydropedicin  and 6,7-dimethoxy-5,8-dihydroxyflavone . In addition, the aminoquinones 6, 8, and 9 were isolated from the alkaloid extract. These compounds were artifacts, prepared by treatment of 1, 4, and 2, respectively, with NH4OH. The structures of the new compounds were elucidated by spectral methods, especially 2D nmr.
Two new acridone alkaloids, chlorospermines A and B (1 and 2), were isolated from the stem bark of Glycosmis chlorosperma, together with the known atalaphyllidine (3) and acrifoline (4), by means of bioguided isolation using an in vitro enzyme assay against DYRK1A. Acrifoline (4) and to a lesser extent chlorospermine B (2) and atalaphyllidine (3) showed significant inhibiting activity on DYRK1A with IC50's of 0.075, 5.7, and 2.2 μM, respectively. Their selectivity profile was evaluated against a panel of various kinases, and molecular docking calculations provided structural details for the interaction between these compounds and DYRK1A.
Eight new bis-styryllactones, goniolanceolatins A-H (1-8), possessing a rare α,β-unsaturated δ-lactone moiety with a (6S)-configuration, were isolated from the CH2Cl2 extract of the stembark and roots of Goniothalamus lanceolatus Miq., a plant endemic to Malaysia. Absolute structures were established through extensive 1D- and 2D-NMR data analysis, in combination with electronic dichroism (ECD) data. All of the isolates were evaluated for their cytotoxicity against human lung and colorectal cancer cell lines. Compounds 2 and 4 showed cytotoxicity, with IC50 values ranging from 2.3 to 4.2 μM, and were inactive toward human noncancerous lung and colorectal cells. Compounds 1, 3, 6, 7, and 8 showed moderate to weak cytotoxicity. Docking studies of compounds 2 and 4 showed that they bind with EGFR tyrosine kinase and cyclin-dependent kinase 2 through hydrogen bonding interactions with the important amino acids, including Lys721, Met769, Asn818, Arg157, Ile10, and Glu12.
The Ricinus communis biomarker peptides RCB-1 to -3 comprise homologous sequences of 19 (RCB-1) or 18 (RCB-2 and -3) amino acid residues. They all include four cysteine moieties, which form two disulfide bonds. However, neither the 3D structure nor the biological activity of any of these peptides is known. The synthesis of RCB-1, using microwave-assisted, Fmoc-based solid-phase peptide synthesis, and a method for its oxidative folding are reported. The tertiary structure of RCB-1, subsequently established using solution-state NMR, reveals a twisted loop fold with antiparallel β-sheets reinforced by the two disulfide bonds. Moreover, RCB-1 was tested for antibacterial, antifungal, and cytotoxic activity, as well as in a serum stability assay, in which it proved to be remarkably stable.
Three new 5,1'-coupled naphthylisoquinoline alkaloids, ancistrobenomine A (1), 6-O-demethylancistrobenomine A (2), and 5'-O-demethylancistrocline (3), have been isolated from the stem bark of a botanically as yet undescribed highland liana Ancistrocladus sp., proposed to be named "A. benomensis" according to the region in Peninsular Malaysia where it has been discovered on the mountain of Gunung Benom. Two of the compounds possess an unprecedented structure with a novel hydroxymethylene group at C-3 of the fully dehydrogenated isoquinoline moiety. The structural elucidation was achieved by chemical, spectroscopic, and chiroptical methods. As typical of the so-called Ancistrocladaceae type, all of the compounds isolated bear an oxygen at C-6. Biological activities of these alkaloids against different protozoic pathogens are described.
Three new fully dehydrogenated naphthylisoquinoline alkaloids, the 7,1'-coupled ent-dioncophylleine A (3a), the likewise 7,1'-coupled 5'-O-demethyl-ent-dioncophylleine A (4), and the 7,8'-linked dioncophylleine D (5), have been isolated from the leaves of the recently described Malaysian highland liana Ancistrocladusbenomensis. All of them lack an oxygen function at C-6; this so-called Dioncophyllaceae-type structural subclass had previously been found only in naphthylisoquinoline alkaloids from West and Central African plants. Moreover, compounds 3a and 4 are the first fully dehydrogenated, i.e., only axially chiral, naphthylisoquinoline alkaloids of this type that are optically active; compound 5, by contrast, is fully racemic, due to its configurationally unstable biaryl axis. The structural elucidation was achieved by spectroscopic and chiroptical methods. Biological activities of these alkaloids against different protozoan parasites are described.
Seven new tropane alkaloids, including five monomeric (1-5), one dimeric (6), and one trimeric (7) 3α-nortropane ester, along with two known monomeric nortropane alkaloids (8 and 9), were isolated from the leaves and bark of Pellacalyx saccardianus. Their structures, including the absolute configuration of the enantiomeric pair of (±)-6, were elucidated by comprehensive spectroscopic analyses. Alkaloids 6 and 7 showed cytotoxicity toward human pancreatic cancer cell lines (AsPC-1, BxPC3, PANC-1, and SW1990). Alkaloids 1, 4, and 9 induced a smooth muscle relaxation effect comparable to that of atropine (Emax 106.1 ± 7.5%, 97.0 ± 5.2%, 100.9 ± 1.4%, 111.7 ± 1.7%, respectively) on isolated rat tracheal rings.
Cinnamomum cassia Presl (Cinnamon) has been widely cultivated in the tropical or subtropical areas, such as Yunnan, Fujian, Guandong, and Hainan in China, as well as India, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. Four new glycosides bearing apiuronic acid (1, 4, 6, and 7) and their sodium or potassium salts (2, 3, and 5), together with 31 known compounds, were isolated from a hot water extract of the bark of C. cassia via repeated chromatography. The structures of the new compounds (1-7) were determined by NMR, IR, MS, and ICP-AES data and by acid hydrolysis and sugar analysis. This is the first report of the presence of apiuronic acid glycosides. Some of the isolates were evaluated for their analgesic effects on a neuropathic pain animal model induced by paclitaxel. Cinnzeylanol (8), cinnacaside (9), kelampayoside A (10), and syringaresinol (11) showed analgesic effects against paclitaxel-induced cold allodynia.
Ten indole and oxindole alkaloids (1-10) were isolated from the freshly collected leaves of Malaysian Mitragyna speciosa (Kratom). The chemical structures of these compounds were established on the basis of extensive 1D and 2D NMR and HRMS data analysis. The spectroscopic data of mitragynine oxindole B (4) are reported herein for the first time. The spatial configuration of mitragynine oxindole B (4) was confirmed by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. Simultaneous quantification of the isolated alkaloids in the M. speciosa leaf specimens collected from different locations in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia was also performed using UPLC-MS/MS. The oxindole alkaloids (1-4) and the indole alkaloid (10) were assessed for binding affinity at opioid receptors. Corynoxine (1) showed high binding affinity to μ-opioid receptors with a Ki value of 16.4 nM. Further, corynoxine (1) was 1.8-fold more potent than morphine in rats subjected to a nociceptive hot plate assay. These findings have important implications for evaluating the combined effects of the minor oxindole alkaloids in the overall therapeutic activity of M. speciosa.
Reexamination of the absolute configuration of recently isolated eburnane alkaloids from Malaysian Kopsia and Leuconotis species by X-ray diffraction analysis and ECD/TDDFT has revealed the existence of biosynthetic enantiodivergence. Three different scenarios are discerned with respect to the composition of the enantiomeric eburnane alkaloids in these plants: first, where the new eburnane congeners possess the same C-20, C-21 absolute configurations as the common eburnane alkaloids (eburnamonine, eburnamine, isoeburnamine, eburnamenine) occurring in the same plant; second, where the new eburnane congeners possess opposite or enantiomeric C-20, C-21 absolute configurations compared to the common eburnane alkaloids found in the same plant; and, third, where the four common eburnane alkaloids were isolated as racemic or scalemic mixtures, while the new eburnane congeners were isolated as pure enantiomers with a common C-20, C-21 configuration (20α, 21α). Additionally, the same Kopsia species (K. pauciflora) found in two different geographical locations (Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo) showed different patterns in the composition of the enantiomeric eburnane alkaloids. Revision of the absolute configurations of a number of new eburnane congeners (previously assigned based on the assumption of a common biogenetic origin to that of the known eburnane alkaloids co-occurring in the same plant) is required based on the present results.
A methanol-soluble extract of the bark of Myristica cinnamomea was found to exhibit anti-quorum sensing activity, and subsequent bioassay-guided isolation led to the identification of the active compound malabaricone C (1). Compound 1 inhibited violacein production by Chromobacterium violaceum CV026 when grown in the presence of a cognate signaling molecule, N-3-oxohexanoyl-homoserine lactone. Furthermore, 1 inhibited the quorum sensing-regulated pyocyanin production and biofilm formation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. These results suggest that the anti-quorum sensing activity of 1 and related molecules should be investigated further.
Phytochemical and cytotoxicity investigations on organic solvent extracts of the aerial parts of Tinospora crispa have led to the isolation of 15 cis-clerodane-type furanoditerpenoids. Of these, nine compounds (1-9) were found to be new. Spectroscopic assignments of a previously reported compound, borapetoside A (13), were revised on the basis of HMQC and HMBC correlations. No discernible activity was observed when compounds 10-13 were subjected to evaluation in cytotoxicity assays against human prostate cancer (PC-3) and the normal mouse fibroblast (3T3) cell lines.
A large-scale in vitro screening of tropical plants using an antibacterial assay permitted the selection of several species with significant antibacterial activities. Bioassay-guided purification of the dichloromethane extract of the leaves of the Malaysian species Vitex vestita, led to the isolation of six new labdane-type diterpenoids, namely, 12-epivitexolide A (2), vitexolides B and C (3 and 4), vitexolide E (8), and vitexolins A and B (5 and 6), along with six known compounds, vitexolides A (1) and D (7), acuminolide (9), 3β-hydroxyanticopalic acid (10), 8α-hydroxyanticopalic acid (11), and 6α-hydroxyanticopalic acid (12). Their structures were elucidated on the basis of 1D and 2D NMR analyses and HRMS experiments. Both variable-temperature NMR spectroscopic studies and chemical modifications were performed to investigate the dynamic epimerization of the γ-hydroxybutenolide moiety of compounds 1-4. Compounds were assayed against a panel of 46 Gram-positive strains. Vitexolide A (1) exhibited the most potent antibacterial activity with minimal inhibitory concentration values ranging from 6 to 96 μM, whereas compounds 2 and 6-9 showed moderate antibacterial activity. The presence of a β-hydroxyalkyl-γ-hydroxybutenolide subunit contributed significantly to antibacterial activity. Compounds 1-4 and 6-9 showed cytotoxic activities against the HCT-116 cancer cell line (1 < IC50s < 10 μM) and human fetal lung fibroblast MRC5 cell line (1 < IC50s < 10 μM for compounds 1, 2, 7, 8, and 9).
Eucophylline (1), a new tetracyclic vinylquinoline alkaloid, was isolated from the bark of Leuconotis eugenifolius together with leucophyllidine (2). The structure and absolute configuration of 1 were elucidated on the basis of 2D NMR correlations and simulated CD analysis. Leucophyllidine (2) showed iNOS inhibitory activity and decreased the iNOS protein expression dose-dependently.
Four complex flavanones, kurziflavolactones A , B , C , and D  and a complex chalcone 6 with an unprecedented carbon side chain on the flavanone or chalcone A ring have been isolated from a Malaysian plant, Cryptocarya kurzii (Lauraceae). Their structures were determined by extensive spectroscopic analysis, especially 2D nmr experiments. Compounds 3 and 6 showed slight cytotoxicity against KB cells, with IC50 values of 4 and 15 micrograms/ml, respectively. A biosynthetic pathway for the formation of these compounds is suggested.