A xanthone and a phenylanthraquinone from the roots of Bulbine frutescens, and the revision of six seco-anthraquinones into xanthones
Midiwo, Jacob O
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Phytochemical investigation of the dichloromethane/methanol (1:1) extract of the roots of Bulbine frutescens led to the isolation of a new xanthone, 8-hydroxy-6-methylxanthone-1-carboxylic acid (1) and a new phenylanthraquinone, 6′,8-O-dimethylknipholone (2) along with six known compounds. The structures were elucidated on the basis of NMR and MS spectral data analyses. The structure of compound 1 was confirmed through X-ray crystallography which was then used as a reference to propose the revision of the structures of six seco-anthraquinones into xanthones. The isolated compounds were evaluated for cytotoxicity against human cervix carcinoma KB-3-1 cells with the phenylanthraquinone knipholone being the most active (IC50 = 0.43 μM). Two semi-synthetic knipholone derivatives, knipholone Mannich base and knipholone-1,3-oxazine, were prepared and tested for cytotoxic activity; both showed moderate activities (IC50 value of 1.89 and 2.50 μM, respectively).Graphical abstract Two new compounds named 8-hydroxy-6-methylxanthone-1-carboxylic acid (1) and 6′,8-Odimethylknipholone (2) were isolated from the root of Bulbine frutescens. The structures of six seco-anthraquinones were revised into xanthones. Knipholone and its derivatives showed cytotoxic activity against human cervix carcinoma KB-3-1 cells.