Estrogenic Activity of Chemical Constituents from Tephrosia candida

In a continued investigation of medicinal plants from the genus Tephrosia, phytochemical analysis of a methylene chloride–methanol (1:1) extract of the air-dried aerial parts of Tephrosia candida afforded two new 8-prenylated flavonoids, namely, tephrocandidins A (1) and B (2), a new prenylated chalcone, candidachalcone (3), a new sesquiterpene (4), and a previously reported pea flavonoid phytoalexin, pisatin (5). The structures of 14 were established by spectroscopic methods, including HREIMS, and 1H, 13C, DEPT, HMQC, and HMBC NMR experiments. The most potent estrogenic activity of these isolated natural products in an estrogen receptor (ERα) competitive-binding assay was for 3, which exhibited an IC50 value of 80 μM, compared with 18 nM for the natural steroid 17β-estradiol. Results were interpreted via virtual docking of isolated compounds to an ERα crystal structure.