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J Nat Prod. 1998 Feb 27;61(2):230-6.

New Sesquiterpene Lactones from Illicium floridanum

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Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Universitätsstrasse 1, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany, and Department of Chemistry, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803.


In continuation of our phytochemical investigation of Illicium floridanum Ellis (American star anise, star bush), three new sesquiterpene lactones possessing the anisatin-type carbon skeleton (8,9-seco-prezizaane skeleton), 14-acetoxy-3-oxofloridanolide (1), 13-acetoxy-14-(n-butyryloxy)floridanolide (2), and 3beta-acetoxy-14-n-butyryloxy-10-deoxyfloridanolide (3), were isolated from fruits of this plant. Their structures were elucidated by 1D and 2D NMR measurements. The molecular structure of 1 was obtained by single crystal X-ray diffraction. The 11,3-delta-lactone structure of the compound previously described as debenzoyldunnianin in our previous communication, on grounds of NMR spectral evidence and X-ray crystallographic analysis is revised to a delta-lactone closed between C-11 and C-7 (compound 4). The neurotoxic sesquiterpene lactone anisatin (5) and its isomer 2alpha-hydroxyneoanisatin (3-deoxy-2alpha-hydroxyanisatin, 6) were also isolated and identified by spectroscopic means. The presence of the neurotoxin 5 in relatively high amounts in the fruits and leaves confirms and explains early reports on the toxicity of this plant.


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