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J Nat Prod. 2002 Nov;65(11):1547-53.

Microbial and chemical transformation studies of the bioactive marine sesquiterpenes (S)-(+)-curcuphenol and -curcudiol isolated from a deep reef collection of the Jamaican sponge Didiscus oxeata.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi, University, Mississippi 38677, USA.


Microbial and chemical transformation studies of the marine sesquiterpene phenols (S)-(+)-curcuphenol (1) and (S)-(+)-curcudiol (2), isolated from the Jamaican sponge Didiscus oxeata, were accomplished. Preparative-scale fermentation of 1 with Kluyveromyces marxianus var. lactis (ATCC 2628) has resulted in the isolation of six new metabolites: (S)-(+)-15-hydroxycurcuphenol (3), (S)-(+)-12-hydroxycurcuphenol (4), (S)-(+)-12,15-dihydroxycurcuphenol (5), (S)-(+)-15-hydroxycurcuphenol-12-al (6), (S)-(+)-12-carboxy-10,11-dihydrocurcuphenol (7), and (S)-(+)-12-hydroxy-10,11-dihydrocurcuphenol (8). Fourteen-days incubation of 1 with Aspergillus alliaceus (NRRL 315) afforded the new compounds (S)-(+)-10beta-hydroxycurcudiol (9), (S)-(+)-curcudiol-10-one (10), and (S)-(+)-4-[1-(2-hydroxy-4-methyl)phenyl)]pentanoic acid (11). Rhizopus arrhizus (ATCC 11145) and Rhodotorula glutinus (ATCC 15125) afforded (S)-curcuphenol-1alpha-D-glucopyranoside (12) and (S)-curcudiol-1alpha-D-glucopyranoside (13) when incubated for 6 and 8 days with 1 and 2, respectively. The absolute configuration of C(10) and C(11) of metabolites 7-9 was established by optical rotation computations. Reaction of 1 with NaNO(2) and HCl afforded (S)-(+)-4-nitrocurcuphenol (14) and (S)-(+)-2-nitrocurcuphenol (15) in a 2:1 ratio. Acylation of 1 and 2 with isonicotinoyl chloride afforded the expected esters (S)-(+)-curcuphenol-1-O-isonicotinate (16) and (S)-(+)-curcudiol-1-O-isonicotinate (17), respectively. Curcuphenol (1) shows potent antimicrobial activity against Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and S. aureus with MIC and MFC/MBC ranges of 7.5-25 and 12.5-50 microg/mL, respectively. Compounds 1 and 3 also display in vitro antimalarial activity against Palsmodium falciparium (D6 clone) with MIC values of 3600 and 3800 ng/mL, respectively (selectivity index >1.3). Both compounds were also active against P. falciparium (W2 clone) with MIC values of 1800 (S.I. >2.6) and 2900 (S.I. >1.6) ng/mL, respectively. Compound 14 shows anti-hepatitis B virus activity with an EC(50) of 61 microg/mL.

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