American Chemical Society
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A Commercial Extract of Cyanotis arachnoidea Roots as a Source of Unusual Ecdysteroid Derivatives with Insect Hormone Receptor Binding Activity

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-06-18, 18:13 authored by Gábor Tóth, Ibolya Herke, Tamás Gáti, Máté Vágvölgyi, Róbert Berkecz, Lyudmila V. Parfenova, Minori Ueno, Taiyo Yokoi, Yoshiaki Nakagawa, Attila Hunyadi
Ecdysteroids act as molting hormones in insects and as nonhormonal anabolic agents and adaptogens in mammals. A wide range of ecdysteroid-containing herbal extracts are available worldwide as food supplements. The aim of this work was to study such an extract as a possible industrial source of new bioactive ecdysteroids. A large-scale chromatographic isolation was performed from an extract of Cyanotis arachnoidea roots. Ten ecdysteroids (110) including eight new compounds were isolated and characterized by extensive nuclear magnetic resonance studies. Highly unusual structures were identified, including a H-14β (1, 2, 4, and 10) moiety, among which a 14β­(H)­17β­(H) phytosteroid (1) is reported for the first time. Compounds with an intact side chain (410) and 11 other natural or semisynthetic ecdysteroids (1121) were tested for insect ecdysteroid receptor (EcR) binding activity. Two new compounds, i.e., 14-deoxydacryhainansterone (5) and 22-oxodacryhainansterone (6), showed strong EcR binding activity (IC50 = 41.7 and 380 nM, respectively). Six compounds were identified as EcR agonists and another two as antagonists using a transgenic ecdysteroid reporter gene assay. The present results demonstrate that commercial C. arachnoidea extracts are rich in new, unusual bioactive ecdysteroids. Because of the lack of an authentic plant material, the truly biosynthetic or artifactual nature of these compounds cannot be confirmed.