Cucurbitane-type compounds from Hemsleya carnosiflora antagonize ecdysteroid action in the Drosophila melanogaster BII cell line
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The ecdysteroid agonist and antagonist activities of 3 cucurbitanes, 2 cucurbitane glycosides and 2 cucurbitacins isolated from Hemsleya carnosiflora (Cucurbitaceae) have been determined in the Drosophila melanogaster BII bioassay. Carnosiflogenins A and C and carnosiflosides II and VI possess antagonistic activity. Carnosiflogenin A was also found to induce the formation of spindle-shaped cells with high frequency in both the agonist and antagonist assays. At 10−3 M, carnosiflogenins B and C were cytotoxic. 23,24-Dihydrocucurbitacin F and 25-acetoxy-23,24-dihydrocucurbitacin F are also antagonistic at high concentrations. The concentration dependencies of the antagonistic activities of these two cucurbitacins, carnosiflosides II and VI and carnosiflogenin C are presented. The biological and ecological significance of these results are discussed in relationship to the concentrations present in the rhizomes of H. carnosiflora.
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