Toosendanin relatives, trypanocidal principles from Meliae Cortex


Africa Trypanosomiasis remains a serious health problem, but the approved drugs for this disease are so few that novel trypanocidal compounds are demanded. In search for trypanocidal principles from medicinal plants, we found MeOH extracts of Meliae Cortex with potent activity through the screening from about 300 kinds of methanolic extract. By bioassay-guided fractionation from this extract through the liquid–liquid partition and subsequent chromatographic technique using silica gel and ODS, finally we disclosed toosendanin (1) and its relatives as active principles. These active congeners showed not only potent trypanocidal activity but also little cytotoxicity to display the excellent selective index. Taking the isolated amount as well as trypanocidal activity into consideration, 1 was disclosed to be the responsible active principle in Meliae Cortex. Additionally, the derivatives of 1 were chemically prepared from 1 and bioactivity of them were also evaluated. Through the comparison with their trypanocidal activity among the isolated relatives and the synthesized derivatives of 1, the epoxide moiety was revealed to be essential for their potent trypanocidal activity. Furthermore, 3-O-acetyl group and 7-hydroxyl group were presumed to be important functional groups and introduction of methylpropionyl group into hemiacetal hydroxy moiety was clarified to enhance their typanocidal activity.

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This work was supported by Research funds from San-Ei Gen F. F. I. Inc.

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Correspondence to Satoru Tamura.

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Mifundu, M.N., Murakami, N., Kawano, T. et al. Toosendanin relatives, trypanocidal principles from Meliae Cortex. J Nat Med (2020).

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  • Toosendanin
  • Trypanocidal activity
  • Meliae Cortex
  • SAR analysis