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Food Addit Contam. 1999 Jan;16(1):15-24.

Biological activities of oligoketide pigments of Monascus purpureus.

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Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague.


Rubropunctatin (1), monascorubrin (2), monascin (3) and ankaflavin (4) were purified from the mycelium of Monascus purpureus by flash chromatography on silica gel or reversed phase. Their embryotoxicity towards chicken embryos decreased in the order 2 > 1 > 3 > 4. The lower homologues 1 and 3 exhibited teratogenic effects on these organisms. Significant antibiotic activities against Bacillus subtilis and Candida pseudotropicalis were found with compounds 1 and 2. Immunosuppressive activity on mouse T-splenocytes was most pronounced with compounds 3 and 4. None of the compounds showed significant cytotoxic activity towards rat hepatocytes in vitro. Incubation of resting cells of M. purpureus with glycine afforded the dark-red compounds 5 and 6 where the pyran moiety of 1 and 2 changed into the N-substituted dihydropyridine moiety by replacement of the O-atom by the amino group of glycine. Compounds 5 and 6 were less biologically active than the major pigments 1-4.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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