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J Nat Prod. 2013 Mar 22;76(3):346-53. doi: 10.1021/np3007149. Epub 2012 Dec 24.

Antimicrobial phenolics and unusual glycerides from Helichrysum italicum subsp. microphyllum.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Chimica delle Sostanze Naturali, Universit√† di Napoli Federico II , Via Montesano 49, 80131 Napoli, Italy.


During a large-scale isolation campaign for the heterodimeric phloroglucinyl pyrone arzanol (1a) from Helichrysum italicum subsp. microphyllum, several new phenolics as well as an unusual class of lipids named santinols (5a-c, 6-8) have been characterized. Santinols are angeloylated glycerides characterized by the presence of branched acyl- or keto-acyl chains and represent a hitherto unreported class of plant lipids. The antibacterial activity of arzanol and of a selection of Helichrysum phenolics that includes coumarates, benzofurans, pyrones, and heterodimeric phloroglucinols was evaluated, showing that only the heterodimers showed potent antibacterial action against multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates. These observations validate the topical use of Helichrysum extracts to prevent wound infections, a practice firmly established in the traditional medicine of the Mediterranean area.

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