Phytochemical investigation on the fruits of Mesua lepidota (Calophyllaceae) led to the isolation of seven new phenylcoumarin derivatives named lepidotols A-E (1-5) and lepidotins A and B (6, 7). These structures were elucidated by spectroscopic and spectrometric methods including UV, NMR, and HRMS. Lepidotol A (1), the major compound, was evaluated for its inhibitory effect on inflammation and immunity using endothelial cell-based cellular assays. At 10 μM, 1 exhibited an anti-inflammatory activity, with a significant inhibition of vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 expression induced by tumor necrosis factor-α. Lepidotol A also showed a mild immunosuppressive effect, with inhibition of the major histocompatibility complex molecules, namely, human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR and HLA-E.
From the aerial parts of Atriplex littoralis, three new flavonoid glycosides named atriplexins I-III (1-3), a known flavonoid glycoside, spinacetin 3-O-β-d-glucopyranoside (4), arbutin (5), and 4-hydroxybenzyl-β-d-glucopyranoside (6) were isolated. Their structures were elucidated on the basis of detailed spectroscopic analysis, including 1D and 2D NMR (COSY, NOESY, TOCSY, HSQC, HMBC) and HRESITOF MS data. The compounds were tested for in vitro protective effects on chromosome aberrations in peripheral human lymphocytes using a cytochalasin-B-blocked micronucleus (MN) assay in a concentration range of 0.8-7.4 μM of final culture solution. Chromosomal damage was induced by 2 Gy of γ-radiation on binucleated human lymphocytes, and the effects of the compounds were tested 2 to 19 h after irradiation. The frequency of micronuclei (MNi) was scored in binucleated cells, and the nuclear proliferation index was calculated. The highest prevention of in vitro biochemical and cytogenetic damage of human lymphocytes induced by γ-radiation was exhibited by 3 (reduction of MN frequency by 31%), followed by 4 and 6.
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.
Ten new indole alkaloids (1-10) comprising five ibogan, two aspidosperman, one vincamine, and two bisindole alkaloids, in addition to 32 known alkaloids, were isolated from the stem-bark extract of a Malayan Tabernaemontana corymbosa. The structures of these alkaloids were determined based on analysis of the NMR and MS data and, in five instances (1, 3, 5, 6, 8), confirmed by X-ray diffraction analysis. Two of the iboga alkaloids, conodusines B (2) and C (3), and the iboga-containing bisindole tabernamidine B (10) are notable for the presence of an α-substituted acetyl group at C-20 of the iboga carbon skeleton. The iboga alkaloid (+)-conodusine E (5) had MS and NMR data that were identical to those of (-)-ervatamine I, recently isolated from Ervatamia hainanensis. Establishment of the absolute configuration of (+)-conodusine E (5) was based on analysis of the ECD data, correlation with (-)-heyneanine, and X-ray analysis, which showed that (+)-5 belongs to the same enantiomeric series as exemplified by (-)-coronaridine. The configuration at C-20' of the previously reported Tabernaemontana bisindole alkaloid 19'-oxotabernamine (renamed tabernamidine B) required revision based on the present results. Several of the bisindoles showed pronounced in vitro growth inhibitory activity against drug-sensitive and vincristine-resistant KB cells.
Four new 2,3-secodammarane triterpenoids, stellatonins A-D (3-6), together with a new 3,4-secodammarane triterpenoid, stellatonin E (7), and the known silvestrol (1), 5‴-episilvestrol (2), and β-sitosterol, were isolated from a methanol extract of the stems of Aglaia stellatopilosa through bioassay-guided fractionation. The structures of the new compounds were elucidated using spectroscopic and chemical methods. The compounds were evaluated for their cytotoxic activity against three human cancer cell lines and for their antimicrobial activity using a microtiter plate assay against a panel of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and fungi.
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.
Six new bisindole alkaloids of the iboga-vobasine type, vobatensines A-F (1-6), in addition to four known bisindoles (8-11), were isolated from a stem bark extract of a Malayan Tabernaemontana corymbosa. The structures of these alkaloids were determined based on analysis of the spectroscopic data and in the case of vobatensines A (1), B (2), and 16'-decarbomethoxyvoacamine (8) also confirmed by partial syntheses. Nine of these alkaloids (1-5, 8-11) showed pronounced in vitro growth inhibitory activity against human KB, PC-3, LNCaP, HCT 116, HT-29, MCF7, MDA-MB-231, and A549 cancer cells.
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).
We have previously reported that bisleuconothine A (Bis-A), a novel bisindole alkaloid isolated from Leuconotis griffithii, showed cytostatic activity in several cell lines. In this report, the mechanism of Bis-A-induced cytostatic activity was investigated in detail using A549 cells. Bis-A did not cause apoptosis, as indicated by analysis of annexin V and propidium iodide staining. Expression of all tested apoptosis-related proteins was also unaffected by Bis-A treatment. Bis-A was found to increase LC3 lipidation in MCF7 cells as well as A549 cells, suggesting that Bis-A cytostatic activity may be due to induction of autophagy. Subsequent investigation via Western blotting and immunofluorescence staining indicated that Bis-A induced formation but prevented degradation of autophagosomes. Mechanistic studies showed that Bis-A down-regulated phosphorylation of protein kinase B (AKT) and its downstream kinase, PRAS40, which is an mTOR repressor. Moreover, phosphorylation of p70S6K, an mTOR-dependent kinase, was also down-regulated. Down-regulation of these kinases suggests that the increase in LC3 lipidation may be due to mTOR deactivation. Thus, the cytostatic activity shown by Bis-A may be attributed to its induction of autophagosome formation. The Bis-A-induced autophagosome formation was suggested to be caused by its interference with the AKT-mTOR signaling pathway.
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.
Six new indole alkaloids, viz., cononusine (1, a rare example of an iboga-pyrrolidone conjugate), ervaluteine (2), vincamajicine (3), tacamonidine (4), 6-oxoibogaine (5), and N(4)-chloromethylnorfluorocurarine chloride (6), and two new vobasinyl-iboga bisindole alkaloids, ervatensines A (7) and B (8), in addition to other known alkaloids, were isolated from the stem-bark extract of the Malayan Tabernaemontana corymbosa. The structures of these alkaloids were established on the basis of NMR and MS analyses and, in one instance (7), confirmed by X-ray diffraction analysis. Vincamajicine (3) showed appreciable activity in reversing multidrug resistance in vincristine-resistant KB cells (IC50 2.62 μM), while ervatensines A (7) and B (8) and two other known bisindoles displayed pronounced in vitro growth inhibitory activity against human KB cells (IC50 < 2 μM). Compounds 7 and 8 also showed good growth inhibitory activity against A549, MCF-7, MDA-468, HCT-116, and HT-29 cells (IC50 0.70-4.19 μM). Cell cycle and annexin V-FITC apoptosis assays indicated that compounds 7 and 8 inhibited proliferation of HCT-116 and MDA-468 cells, evoking apoptotic and necrotic cell death.
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.
Two new prenylated compounds, the benzoquinone atrovirinone (1) and the depsidone atrovirisidone (2), were isolated from the roots of Garcinia atroviridis. Their structures were determined on the basis of the analysis of spectroscopic data. While compound 2 showed some cytotoxicity against HeLa cells, both compounds 1 and 2 were only mildly inhibitory toward Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus.
Methanolic extracts of the leaves, stems, and roots of Phyllagathis rotundifolia collected in Malaysia yielded seven galloylated cyanogenic glucosides based on prunasin, with six of these being new compounds, prunasin 2',6'-di-O-gallate (3), prunasin 3',6'-di-O-gallate (4), prunasin 4',6'-di-O-gallate (5), prunasin 2',3',6'-tri-O-gallate (6), prunasin 3',4',6'-tri-O-gallate (7), and prunasin 2',3',4',6'-tetra-O-gallate (8). Also obtained was a new alkyl glycoside, oct-1-en-3-yl alpha-arabinofuranosyl-(1-->6)-beta-glucopyranoside (9). For compounds 3-8, the galloyl groups were individually linked to the sugar moieties via ester bonds. All new structures were established on the basis of NMR and MS spectroscopic studies. In addition, prunasin (1), gallic acid and its methyl ester, beta-glucogallin, 3,6-di-O-galloyl-D-glucose, 1,2,3,6-tetra-O-galloyl-beta-D-glucose, strictinin, 6-O-galloyl-2,3-O-(S)-hexahydroxydiphenoyl-D-glucose, praecoxin B, and pterocarinin C were isolated and identified. The isolation of 1 and its galloyl derivatives (3-8) from a Melastomataceous plant are described for the first time.
A new iridoid glucoside with an ether linkage between C-3 and C-10 and a novel nonglycosidic iridoid with an ether linkage between C-3 and C-6 and a lactonic linkage at C-1, named macrophylloside (1) and macrophyllide (2), respectively, were isolated from the leaves of Rothmannia macrophylla, along with six known iridoids. Their structures were established by NMR and MS spectroscopies.
A new anthraquinone, 2-hydroxymethyl-10-hydroxy-1,4-anthraquinone (1), was isolated from Hedyotis herbacea along with three other known derivatives: 1,4-dihydroxy-2-hydroxymethylanthraquinone (2); 2, 3-dimethoxy-9-hydroxy-1,4-anthraquinone; and 1,4-dihydroxy-2, 3-dimethoxyanthraquinone. The structure of 1 was determined based on analysis of its spectroscopic data.
Six new sulfur-containing bis-iridoid glucosides, saprosmosides A-F (1-6), were isolated from the leaves of Saprosma scortechinii. From the stems of this same plant, two new iridoid glucosides, 3,4-dihydro-3-methoxypaederoside (8) and 10-O-benzoyldeacetylasperulosidic acid (12), were isolated. Their structures were elucidated by means of chemical, NMR, and mass spectroscopic methods. Additionally, 11 known iridoid glucosides were isolated and characterized as deacetylasperuloside, asperuloside, paederoside (7), deacetylasperulosidic acid (9), scandoside, asperulosidic acid, 10-acetylscandoside, paederosidic acid (10), 6-epi-paederosidic acid (11), methylpaederosidate, and monotropein. The structures of the new bis-iridoid glucosides were formed by intermolecular esterification between the glucose and carboxyl groups of three monomeric iridoid glucosides (7, 9, and 10).
Five new indole alkaloids of the ibogan type (1-5), in addition to 12 other known iboga alkaloids, were obtained from the leaf and stem-bark extract of the Malayan species Tabernaemontana corymbosa, viz., 19(S)-hydroxyibogamine (1), 19-epi-isovoacristine (2), isovoacryptine (3), 3R/S-ethoxyheyneanine (4), and 3R/S-ethoxy-19-epi-heyneanine (5). The structures were determined using NMR and MS analysis and comparison with known related compounds.
Nine 3,4-secoapotirucallanes, argentinic acids A-I, were isolated from the bark of Aglaia argentea and transformed to their methyl esters 1-9. The structures were determined by spectral and chemical means. Compounds 1-8 showed moderate cytotoxic activity against KB cells (IC50 1.0-3.5 microg/mL).
Two new resveratrol tetramers, hopeaphenol A (1) and isohopeaphenol A (2), along with the known vaticaphenol A (3), were isolated from the stem bark of Vatica oblongifolia ssp. oblongifolia through bioassay-guided fractionation. The structures and their relative stereochemistry were determined by spectroscopic techniques. Compounds 1 and 3 demonstrated moderate activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium smegmatis.