Plants and plant-based products have been used for a long time for medicinal purposes. This study aimed to determine the antioxidant and anti-α-glucosidase activities of eight selected underutilized plants in Malaysia: Leucaena leucocephala, Muntingia calabura, Spondias dulcis, Annona squamosa, Ardisia elliptica, Cynometra cauliflora, Ficus auriculata, and Averrhoa bilimbi. This study showed that the 70% ethanolic extract of all plants exhibited total phenolic content (TPC) ranging from 51 to 344 mg gallic acid equivalent (GAE)/g dry weight. A. elliptica showed strong 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and nitric oxide (NO) scavenging activities, with half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of 2.17 and 49.43 μg/mL, respectively. Most of the tested plant extracts showed higher inhibition of α-glucosidase enzyme activity than the standard, quercetin, particularly A. elliptica, F. auriculata, and M. calabura extracts with IC50 values of 0.29, 0.36, and 0.51 μg/mL, respectively. A total of 62 metabolites including flavonoids, triterpenoids, benzoquinones, and fatty acids were tentatively identified in the most active plant, i.e., A. elliptica leaf extract, by using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC)-electrospray ionization (ESI) Orbitrap MS. This study suggests a potential natural source of antioxidant and α-glucosidase inhibitors from A. elliptica.
As part of a search for novel inhibitors of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase, the acetone extract of the giant African snail, Achatina fulica, was shown to be active. Fractionation of the extract yielded inophyllums A, B, C, and E and calophyllolide (1a, 2a, 3a, 3b, and 6), previously isolated from Calophyllum inophyllum Linn., a known source of nutrition for A. fulica. From a methanol/methylene chloride extract of C. inophyllum, the same natural products in considerably greater yield were isolated in addition to a novel enantiomer of soulattrolide (4), inophyllum P (2b), and two other novel compounds, inophyllums G-1 (7) and G-2 (8). The absolute stereochemistry of inophyllum A (1a) was determined to be 10(R), 11(S), 12(S) from a single-crystal X-ray analysis of its 4-bromobenzoate derivative, and the relative stereochemistries of the other inophyllums isolated from C. inophyllum were established by a comparison of their 1H NMR NOE values and coupling constants to those of inophyllum A (1a). Inophyllums B and P (2a and 2b) inhibited HIV reverse transcriptase with IC50 values of 38 and 130 nM, respectively, and both were active against HIV-1 in cell culture (IC50 of 1.4 and 1.6 microM). Closely related inophyllums A, C, D, and E, including calophyllic acids, were significantly less active or totally inactive, indicating certain structural requirements in the chromanol ring. Altogether, 11 compounds of the inophyllum class were isolated from C. inophyllum and are described together with the SAR of these novel anti-HIV compounds.