Synthesis and biological activities of natural homoisoflavanones.
Shaikh, Mahidansha Mahiboob.
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Plants have formed the foundation of traditional medicine systems throughout the world for thousands of years and continue to provide mankind with new remedies for various ailments. A large portion of the black South African population still depends on medicinal plants as primary health care due to its affordability, accessibility and cultural importance. These medicinal plants need to be investigated since new lead compounds are often found in nature. Homoisoflavanones isolated from South African and Indian plants were found to exhibit anti inflammatory activities although the mechanism of action has not yet been determined. A few reports on the anti fungal activities of these compounds were also found. Four new and three known homoisoflavanones of the 3-benzylidene-4-chromanone type were synthesized and tested for anti-inflammatory and antifungal activities. Two novel intermediates were also synthesised. Enantiomers of a homoisoflavanone of the 3-benzyl-4- chromanone types were also synthesized from the corresponding 3,5-dimethoxy phenol via 4- chromanone in six steps. This is the first report of the synthesis of an enantiomerically pure homoisoflavanone compound together with its opposite isomer. The enantiomers and racemate were tested for anti-inflammatory activity. All the synthesized homoisoflavanones were screened for cytotoxicity. The structures of these homoisoflavanones were elucidated by NMR spectroscopy along with HRMS data. The crystal structure of a homoisoflavanone with anti-inflammatory and antifungal activity is reported. The anti-inflammatory activity of the homoisoflavanones was determined in an acute croton oil-induced auricular dermatitis mouse model. The antifungal activity was performed in vitro against a Candida albicans strain. Compounds were tested for cytotoxicity against a Chinese Hamster Ovarian (CHO) cell line using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-3,5- diphenyltetrazoliumbromide (MTT) assay. In conclusion, the synthetic homoisoflavanones showed anti-inflammatory as well as antifungal activity. Some of the compounds showed anti-inflammatory activity comparable to that of the commercially available diclofenac.