Amino Acids

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 319–329 | Cite as

Synthesis and biological evaluation of quercetin and resveratrol peptidyl derivatives as potential anticancer and antioxidant agents

  • Ljiljana Mrkus
  • Jelena Batinić
  • Nina Bjeliš
  • Andreja JakasEmail author
Original Article


Quercetin and resveratrol are polyphenolic compounds, members of the flavonoid and the stilbene family, respectively, both medicinally important as dietary anticancer and antioxidant agents. They are present in a variety of foods—including fruits, vegetables, tea, wine, as well as other dietary supplements—and are responsible for various health benefits. Different quercetin and resveratrol esters of Leu/Met-enkephalin and tetrapeptide Leu-Ser-Lys-Leu (LSKL) were synthesized as model systems for monitoring the influence of the peptides on biological activity of resveratrol and quercetin. General formula of the main peptidyl-quercetin derivatives is 2-[3-(aa)n-4-hydroxyphenyl]-3,5,7-tri-hydroxy-4H-1-benzopyran-4-on, and the general formula of the main peptidyl-resveratrol derivatives is (E)-5-[4-(aa)n)styryl]benzene-1,3-diol. The antioxidant and anticancer activities of prepared compounds were investigated. Significant anticancer activity was obtained for the LSKL-based both quercetin and resveratrol derivatives. All prepared compounds exhibit antioxidant activity, in particular quercetin derivative containing Met-enkephalin.


Leucine enkephalin Methionine enkephalin Tetrapeptide LSKL Resveratrol Quercetin 



Authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of Croatia grant No. 098-0982933-2936. The authors thank Dr. M. Kralj, I. Martin-Kleiner and A. M. Mikecin for evaluating of antiproliferative activity and for useful suggestions. The authors thank Mrs. L. Brkljačić for conduction of HPLC–MS–DPPH measurements. The authors thank also Prof. M. Cudic and Dr. M. Rodriguez for useful suggestions and comments.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

726_2018_2668_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3.8 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 3847 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Organic Chemistry and BiochemistryRuđer Bošković InstituteZagrebCroatia

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