The structure elucidation of three new alkaloids named isoformosaninol (1), formosaninol (2), and longiflorine (3), isolated from the leaves of Uncaria longiflora var. pteropoda (Miq.) Ridsdale, along with their biosynthetic pathways are discussed. Their absolute structures were determined through a combination of physical data interpretation and quantum chemical calculations using the time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) method.
The stem of Stephanotis floribunda afforded a new cyclic pentapeptide stephanotic acid (1), possessing a novel 6-(leucin-3'-yl) tryptophan skeleton. The structure of 1 was assigned on the basis of extensive NMR experiments and a chemical reaction and shown to be closely related to the bicyclic octapeptide moroidin (3), a toxin from Laportea moroides.
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.
In an ongoing program to identify new anti-infective leads, an extract derived from whole plant material of Desmodium congestum collected in the Sarawak rainforest was found to have anti-MRSA activity. Bioassay-guided isolation led to the isolation of two new prenylated chalcones, 5'-O-methyl-3-hydroxyflemingin A (1) and 5'-O-methylflemingin C (2), which were closely related to the flemingins previously isolated from various Flemingia species. Chalcones 1 and 2, which were determined to be 4:6 enantiomeric mixtures by chiral HPLC, exhibited moderate activity against a panel of Gram-positive bacteria and were also cytotoxic to the HEK293 human embryonic kidney cell line.
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.
A new tetrabromospirocyclohexadienylisoxazole, (+)-12-hydroxyhomoaerothionin (1), together with the known compounds (+)-aerothionin (2) and crinemodin-rhodoptilometrin bianthrone (3), were isolated from the marine crinoid Himerometra magnipinna, which had been collected in the South China Sea, Malaysia. The structure of 1 was elucidated by interpretation of 1D 1H and 13C NMR spectra and 2D 1H-1H COSY, HMQC, and HMBC spectra. This is the first report of tetrabromospirocyclohexadienylisoxazole compounds from a crinoid of Himerometra. Compounds 1-3 were evaluated for their inhibitory activity with the hyphae formation inhibition assay in Streptomyces 85E.
Ten new indole alkaloids, alstomaline (1), 10,11-dimethoxynareline (2), alstohentine (3), alstomicine (4), 16-hydroxyalstonisine (5), 16-hydroxyalstonal (6), 16-hydroxy-N(4)-demethylalstophyllal oxindole (7), alstophyllal (8), 6-oxoalstophylline (9), and 6-oxoalstophyllal (10), in addition to 21 other known ones, were obtained from the leaf extract of the Malayan Alstonia macrophylla. The structures were determined using NMR and MS analysis.
Proteins of the Bcl-2 family are key targets in anticancer drug discovery. Disrupting the interaction between anti- and pro-apoptotic members of this protein family was the approach chosen in this study to restore apoptosis. Thus, a biological screening on the modulation of the Bcl-xL/Bak and Mcl-1/Bid interactions permitted the selection of Knema hookeriana for further phytochemical investigations. The ethyl acetate extract from the stem bark led to the isolation of six new compounds, three acetophenone derivatives (1-3) and three anacardic acid derivatives (4-6), along with four known anacardic acids (7-10) and two cardanols (11, 12). Their structures were elucidated by 1D and 2D NMR analysis in combination with HRMS experiments. The ability of these compounds to antagonize Bcl-xL/Bak and Mcl-1/Bid association was determined, using a protein-protein interaction assay, but only anacardic acid derivatives (4-10) exhibited significant binding properties, with Ki values ranging from 0.2 to 18 μM. Protein-ligand NMR experiments further revealed that anacardic acid 9, the most active compound, does not interact with the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-xL and Mcl-1 but instead interacts with pro-apoptotic protein Bid.
Four new compounds, (+)- and (-)-ecarlottone (1), (±)-fislatifolione (5), (±)-isofislatifolione (6), and (±)-fislatifolic acid (7), and the known desmethoxyyangonin (2), didymocarpin-A (3), and dehydrodidymocarpin-A (4) were isolated from the stem bark of Fissistigma latifolium, by means of bioassay-guided purification using an in vitro affinity displacement assay based on the modulation of Bcl-xL/Bak and Mcl-1/Bid interactions. The structures of the new compounds were elucidated by NMR spectroscopic data analysis, and the absolute configurations of compounds (+)-1 and (-)-1 were assigned by comparison of experimental and computed ECD spectra. (-)-Ecarlottone 1 exhibited a potent antagonistic activity on both protein-protein associations with Ki values of 4.8 μM for Bcl-xL/Bak and 2.4 μM for Mcl-1/Bid.
The known lignan (-)-grandisin  has been isolated from Cryptocarya crassinervia by using the brine shrimp lethality test to direct the isolation; its structure and relative stereochemistry have been determined by ir, 1H nmr, ms, and X-ray crystallography as an all-trans alpha, alpha'-diaryl-beta, beta'-dimethyltetrahydrofuran. Compound 1 is not significantly cytotoxic in our panel of human tumor cells.
Nine new xanthones, parvixanthones A-I (1-9), isolated from the dried bark of Garcinia parvifolia, were found to have a common 1,3,6,7-oxygenated pattern for their xanthone nucleus, but various oxygenated isoprenyl or geranyl substituent groups. The structures were determined by spectroscopic methods.
Leaf extracts of Garcinia parvifolia provided relatively high yields of four novel, cytotoxic prenylated depsidones. The structures were determined mainly by detailed NMR spectral analysis and X-ray crystallography.
Leaf extracts of Callicarpa pentandra provided four new clerodane-type diterpenoids (1-4), of which 1, 2, and 4 have ring-A-contracted structures. Their structures and stereochemistry were established by spectral data interpretation, and for 3 also by single-crystal X-ray diffraction.
Leaf extracts of the Malaysian plant Aglaia laxiflora provided two cytotoxic compounds, a new rocaglaol rhamnoside (1), a known rocaglaol (2), new (but inactive) flavonol-cinnamaminopyrrolidine adducts (3-6), and their probable biosynthetic precursors (7 and trimethoxyflavonol). All structures were elucidated primarily by 2D NMR spectroscopy. The structure and stereochemistry of aglaxiflorin A (3) were confirmed by single-crystal X-ray crystallography.
In an effort to find potent inhibitors of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-xL, a systematic in vitro evaluation was undertaken on 1470 Malaysian plant extracts. The ethyl acetate extract obtained from the bark of Meiogyne cylindrocarpa was selected for its interaction with the Bcl-xL/Bak association. Bioassay-guided purification of this species led to the isolation of two new dimeric sesquiterpenoids (1 and 2) possessing an unprecedented substituted cis-decalin carbon skeleton. Meiogynin A (1) showed the strongest activity with a K(i) of 10.8 +/- 3.1 microM.
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.
Bioassay-guided fractionation of the extracts of Zieridium pseudobtusifolium and Acronychia porteri led to the isolation of 5,3'-dihydroxy-3,6,7,8,4'-pentamethoxyflavone , which showed activity against (KB) human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells (IC50 0.04 micrograms/ml) and inhibited tubulin assembly into microtubules (IC50 12 microM). Two other known flavonols, digicitrin  and 5-hydroxy-3,6,7,8,3',4'-hexamethoxyflavone , were also isolated together with three new ones, 3-O-demethyldigicitrin , 3,5,3'-trihydroxy-6,7,8,4'-tetramethoxyflavone , and 3,5-dihydroxy-6,7,8,3',4'-pentamethoxyflavone . All of these flavonols showed cytotoxic activity against KB cells.
Natural products remain an important source of drug leads covering unique chemical space and providing significant therapeutic value for the control of cancer and infectious diseases resistant to current drugs. Here, we determined the antiproliferative activity of a natural product manzamine A (1) from an Indo-Pacific sponge following various in vitro cellular assays targeting cervical cancer (C33A, HeLa, SiHa, and CaSki). Our data demonstrated the antiproliferative effects of 1 at relatively low and non-cytotoxic concentrations (up to 4 μM). Mechanistic investigations confirmed that 1 blocked cell cycle progression in SiHa and CaSki cells at G1/S phase and regulated cell cycle-related genes, including restoration of p21 and p53 expression. In apoptotic assays, HeLa cells showed the highest sensitivity to 1 as compared to other cell types (C33A, SiHa, and CaSki). Interestingly, 1 decreased the levels of the oncoprotein SIX1, which is associated with oncogenesis in cervical cancer. To further investigate the structure-activity relationship among manzamine A (1) class with potential antiproliferative activity, molecular networking facilitated the efficient identification, dereplication, and assignment of structures from the manzamine class and revealed the significant potential in the design of optimized molecules for the treatment of cervical cancer. These data suggest that this sponge-derived natural product class warrants further attention regarding the design and development of novel manzamine analogues, which may be efficacious for preventive and therapeutic treatment of cancer. Additionally, this study reveals the significance of protecting fragile marine ecosystems from climate change-induced loss of species diversity.
The pressing need for SARS-CoV-2 controls has led to a reassessment of strategies to identify and develop natural product inhibitors of zoonotic, highly virulent, and rapidly emerging viruses. This review article addresses how contemporary approaches involving computational chemistry, natural product (NP) and protein databases, and mass spectrometry (MS) derived target-ligand interaction analysis can be utilized to expedite the interrogation of NP structures while minimizing the time and expense of extraction, purification, and screening in BioSafety Laboratories (BSL)3 laboratories. The unparalleled structural diversity and complexity of NPs is an extraordinary resource for the discovery and development of broad-spectrum inhibitors of viral genera, including Betacoronavirus, which contains MERS, SARS, SARS-CoV-2, and the common cold. There are two key technological advances that have created unique opportunities for the identification of NP prototypes with greater efficiency: (1) the application of structural databases for NPs and target proteins and (2) the application of modern MS techniques to assess protein-ligand interactions directly from NP extracts. These approaches, developed over years, now allow for the identification and isolation of unique antiviral ligands without the immediate need for BSL3 facilities. Overall, the goal is to improve the success rate of NP-based screening by focusing resources on source materials with a higher likelihood of success, while simultaneously providing opportunities for the discovery of novel ligands to selectively target proteins involved in viral infection.
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.