TITLE Cryptic Epoxytiglianes from the Kernels of the Blushwood Tree (Fontainea picrosperma)
AUTHOR Giuseppina Chianese, Hawraz Ibrahim M. Amin, Chiara Maioli, Paul Reddell, Peter Parsons, Jason Cullen, Jenny Johns, Herlina Handoko, Glen Boyle, Giovanni Appendino, Orazio Taglialatela-Scafati, and Simone Gaeta*
YEAR 2022
JOURNAL journal of natural products

The kernels of the Australian blushwood tree (Fontainea picrosperma) are the source of the veterinary anticancer drug tigilanol tiglate (2a, Stelfonta) and contain a concentration of phorboids significantly higher than croton oil, the only abundant source of these compounds previously known. The oily matrix of the blushwood kernels is composed of free fatty acids and not by glycerides as found in croton oil. By active partitioning, it was therefore possible to recover and characterize for the first time a cryptic tigliane fraction, that is, the diterpenoid fraction that, because of its lipophilicity, could not be obtained by solvent partition of crude extracts. The cryptic tigliane fraction accounted for ca. 30% of the tigliane kernel titer and was quantified by 1H NMR spectroscopy and profiled by HPLC-MS. Long-chain (linoleates and/or oleates) 20-acyl derivatives of the epoxytigliane diesters tigilanol tiglate (EBC-46, 2a), EBC-47 (4a), EBC-59 (5a), EBC-83 (6a), and EBC-177 (7a) were identified. By chemoselective acylation of EBC-46 (2a) and EBC-177 (7a) the natural triesters 2b and 7b and a selection of analogues were prepared to assist identification of the natural compounds. The presence of a free C-20 hydroxy group is a critical requirement for PKC activation by phorbol esters. The unexpected activity of 20-linoleoyl triester 2b in a cytotoxicity assay based on PKC activation was found to be related mainly to its hydrolysis to tigilanol tiglate (2a) under the prolonged conditions of the assay, while other esters were inactive. Significant differences between the esterification profile of the epoxytigliane di- and triesters exist in F. picrosperma, suggesting a precise, yet elusive, blueprint of acyl decoration for the tigliane polyol 5-hydroxyepoxyphorbol.

KEYWORDS Acyls,Assays,Lipids,Organic compounds,Organic reactions
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