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Phytochemistry. 2004 Feb;65(3):331-5.

The anti-staphylococcal activity of Angelica dahurica (Bai Zhi).

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Centre for Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, The School of Pharmacy, University of London, 29-39 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AX, UK.


Bioassay-guided fractionation of a hexane extract prepared from the roots of the Chinese drug Angelica dahurica (Bai Zhi) led to the isolation of the polyacetylenic natural product falcarindiol (1). The absolute stereochemistry of this compound was confirmed by careful 1H NMR analysis of its (R)- and (S)-Mosher ester derivatives as the 3(R), 8(S) isomer. Activity was tracked using a Mycobacterium fortuitum screening assay and the purified product was evaluated against multidrug-resistant and methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of this metabolite ranged from 8 to 32 microg/ml highlighting the potential of the acetylene natural product class as antibiotic-lead compounds. These MIC values compare favourably with some of the newest agents in development for the treatment of MRSA infection and indicate that further evaluation of the antibiotic activity of acetylenes is warranted.

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