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A new labdane diterpene from Rauvolfia tetraphylla Linn. (Apocynaceae)

Posted on 24. November, 2011.

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Rauvolfia tetraphylla Linn. (syn. R. canescens L., family: Apocynaceae) holds an important position in the Indian traditional system of medicine, and has other immense applications. This particular plant is regarded as a rich source of a wide variety of important alkaloid constituents such as reserpine, reserpiline, raujemidine, isoreserpiline, deserpidine, aricine, ajmaline, ajmalicine, yohimbines, serpentine, sarpagine, vellosimine and tetrphylline. However, there is no report on the terpenoid constituent from this plant, and we report the isolation from the air-dried stems and branches of R. tetraphylla and structural elucidation of a new labdane diterpene, 3-hydroxy-labda-8(17),13(14)-dien-12(15)-olide (1; Fig. 1) bearing  an unusual -lactone moiety.

Naturally occurring labdane diterpenoids have been reported to possess a variety of pharmaceutical activites including antibiotic activity against bacteria, virus, fungus, mycobacteria and protozoa. Labdane diterpenes showed significant anti-tumor and anti-cancer activity when tested against human cancer cell lines such as KB cells, leukaemic T cells, A549 and Hep-2 cells and breast cancer cell lines. These compounds were also found to exert inhibitory activity against different enzymes such as NO synthase, AChE, cyclo-oxygenase, -glucosidase, adenosine transferase, aldose reductase, adenylated cyclase, protein kinases, phospholipase A2 and -glucuronidase, etc. This class of diterpenoid compounds has also been reported to possess some insecticidal activity. Hence, the newly isolated diterpene compound (1) might be correlated to the established medicinal properties of the plant.

Structure of labdane diterpene

Fig. 1 Structure of labdane diterpene

Goutam Brahmachari*, Lalan Ch. Mandal, Dilip Gorai, Avijit Mondal, Sajal Sarkar and Sasadhar Majhi

Doi: 10.3184/174751911X13220462651507

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