A phytochemical investigation of members of the hyacinthaceae family and biological screening of homoisoflavanones and structurally related compounds.
Du Toit, Karen.
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The Hyacinthaceae family is richly represented in southern Africa. Of the five subfamilies, three are found in southern Africa. These are the Urgineoideae (URG), Ornithogaloideae (ORN) and the Hyacinthoideae (HYA). The overview of Pfosser and Speta (1999), revealed chemotaxonomic trends at a subfamily level for the Hyacinthaceae family of the Flora of southern Africa region. Homoisoflavanones were found to define the Hyacinthoideae subfamily whilst the Ornithogaloideae subfamily and the Urgineoideae subfamily are defined by steroidal compounds namely, cholestane glycosides and bufadienolide glycosides respectively. Representatives of all three subfamilies were investigated phytochemically. From Eucomis comosa (HYA), five homoisoflavanones were isolated. Omithogalum tenuifolium (ORN) contained a spirostanol saponin of which the crystals were amenable to X-ray analysis. Evidence of a novel stereoisomer was obtained. Extraction of the bulbs of Galtonia princeps (ORN) led to the isolation of two cholestane glycosides, one known and one novel, and a homoisoflavanone. Two novel bufadienolides were isolated from Urginea Iydenburgensis (URG). Structures were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic data and chemical evidences. Homoisoflavanones and related compounds were then screened for antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity. Several compounds showed antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, a gram-positive bacteria. Inhibition of the inflammatory process in microsomal cells was first evaluated, followed by screening of specific inhibition of cyclooxygenase enzymes. These are membrane-associated enzymes occurring in different isoforms. High levels of anti-inflammatory activity were detected especially in microsomal cells. This biological information made it possible to rationalize the ethnomedicinal use of some of the plants from which the compounds were isolated. 15 Biological screening was followed by a computer-based quantitative structureactivity relationship (QSAR) study. This study produced five equations with significant prediction value of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity for homoisoflavanones and related compounds. The derived models also provided valuable parameter guidelines of those properties influencing the antiinflammatory and antimicrobial activity of the studied compounds.