Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia]]> vol. 25 num. 6 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Marine natural products]]> <![CDATA[C<sub>15</sub> acetogenins from the <em>Laurencia</em> complex: 50 years of research – an overview]]> Abstract Acetogenins are secondary metabolites derived from the polyketide pathway and their potential role as chemotaxonomical markers for red algae belonging to the Laurencia complex has been long pointed out. C15 acetogenins from algae are quite different from plant acetogenins: they are usually halogenated, and have an enyne or a bromoallene terminal group. Since they were first reported, laurencin and other algal acetogenins have inspired great curiosity among natural product chemists and also those working with synthesis. This paper reviews the literature about C15 acetogenins, focusing on their distribution, chemical and biological aspects, including their reported biological activities. <![CDATA[Is phototridachiahydropyrone a true natural product?]]> Abstract The occurrence of (−)-phototridachiahydropyrone (5) in nature has been proven. This compound has been now identified as minor component of the extract of marine sacoglossan mollusk Elysia crispata from which the main (−)-tridachiahydropyrone (4) was previously described. Synthetic (±)-5 was formerly obtained by Moses’ group by biomimetic photochemical conversion of (±)-tridachiahydropyrone (4). The same authors suggested that compound 5 had to be a natural product derived from precursor 4 “yet to be discovered”. Comparison of CD profiles of natural (−)-4 and (−)-5 indicated the same absolute configuration for both compounds. This evidence is in agreement with the concerted mechanism proposed for the photochemical conversion. <![CDATA[Metabolite variability in Caribbean sponges of the genus <em>Aplysina</em>]]> Abstract Sponges of the genus Aplysina are among the most common benthic animals on reefs of the Caribbean, and display a wide diversity of morphologies and colors. Tissues of these sponges lack mineralized skeletal elements, but contain a dense spongin skeleton and an elaborate series of tyrosine-derived brominated alkaloid metabolites that function as chemical defenses against predatory fishes, but do not deter some molluscs. Among the earliest marine natural products to be isolated and identified, these metabolites remain the subject of intense interest for commercial applications because of their activities in various bioassays. In this study, crude organic extracts from 253 sponges from ten morphotypes among the species Aplysina archeri,Aplysina bathyphila,Aplysina cauliformis,Aplysina fistularis,Aplysina fulva,A. insularis, and Aplysina lacunosa were analyzed by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) to characterize the pattern of intra- and interspecific variabilities of the twelve major secondary metabolites present therein. Patterns across Aplysina species ranged from the presence of mostly a single compound, fistularin-3, in A. cauliformis, to a mixture of metabolites present in the other species. These patterns did not support the biotransformation hypothesis for conversion of large molecular weight molecules to smaller ones for the purpose of enhanced defense. Discriminant analyses of the metabolite data revealed strong taxonomic patterns that support a close relationship between A. fistularis,A. fulva and A. insularis, while two morphotypes of A. cauliformis (lilac creeping vs. brown erect) were very distinct. Two morphotypes of A. lacunosa, one with hard tissue consistency, the other soft and thought to belong to a separate genus (Suberea), had very similar chemical profiles. Of the twelve metabolites found among samples, variation in fistularin-3, dideoxyfistularin-3 and hydroxyaerothionin provided the most predictive influence in decreasing order. Except for one morphotype, weak relationships were found from within-morphotype analyses of metabolite concentrations as a function of geographic location (Florida, N Bahamas, S Bahamas) and depth (&lt;10 m, 10–20 m, &gt;20 m). Our data suggest that metabolite profiles are strongly influenced by sponge phenotype rather than by the diverse microbiome which many Aplysina species share. <![CDATA[Amphidinolide P from the Brazilian octocoral <em>Stragulum bicolor</em>]]> Abstract Dinoflagellates are an important source of unique bioactive secondary metabolites. Symbiotic species, commonly named zooxanthellae, transfer most of their photosynthetically fixed carbon to their host. The mutualistic relationship provides the organic metabolites used for energy production but there are very few reports of the role of the dinoflagellates in the production of secondary metabolites in the symbiotic association. Corals and other related cnidarians are the most well-known animals containing symbiotic dinoflagellates. In the present paper we describe the isolation of amphidinolide P (1) from the octocoral Stragulum bicolor and its prey, the nudibranch Marionia limceana, collected off the coasts of Fortaleza (Ceará, Brazil). The coral extracts also contained 3-O-methyl derivative (2) of amphidinolide P, together with minor compounds still under investigation. Amphidinolides have been so far reported only in laboratory cultures of Amphidinium sp., thus compounds 1 and 2 represents the first identification of these polyketides in invertebrates. The finding proves the possibility to isolate amphidinolides from a natural symbiosis, enabling further biological and biotechnological studies. <![CDATA[Biofilm inhibition activity of compounds isolated from two <em>Eunicea</em> species collected at the Caribbean Sea]]> Abstract Biofilm has a primary role in the pathogenesis of diseases and in the attachment of multicellular organisms to a fouled surface. Because of that, the control of bacterial biofilms has been identified as an important target. In the present study, five lipid compounds isolated from soft coral Eunicea sp. and three terpenoids together with a mixture of sterols from Eunicea fusca collected at the Colombian Caribbean Sea showed different effectiveness against biofilm formation by three marine bacteria associated with immersed fouled surfaces, Ochrobactrum pseudogringnonense,Alteromona macleodii and Vibrio harveyi, and against two known biofilm forming bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853 and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923. The pure compounds were characterized by NMR, HRESI-MS, HRGC-MS and optical rotation. The most effective compounds were batyl alcohol (1) and fuscoside E peracetate (6), acting against four strains without affecting their microbial growth. Compound 1 showed biofilm inhibition greater than 30% against A. macleodii, and up to 60% against O. pseudogringnonense,V. harveyi and S. aureus. Compound 6 inhibited O. pseudogringnonense and V. harveyi between 25 and 50%, and P. aeruginosa or S. aureus up to 60% at 0.5 mg/ml. The results suggest that these compounds exhibit specific biofilm inhibition with lower antimicrobial effect against the bacterial species assayed. <![CDATA[Brazilian gorgonians: a source of odoriferous compounds?]]> Abstract The gorgonian Phyllogorgia dilatata Esper is an octocoral known to be source of biologically active terpenes. In this study, odoriferous compounds present in P. dilatata tissues were investigated, due to their exotic olfactory notes. The search of volatile compounds was performed in a dichloromethane/methanol extract submitted to a silica gel vacuum chromatography and HPLC, yielding the isomers (Z,E) and (E,E)-germacrones, identified by GC/MS, 1 and 2D NMR. The stereochemistry of (E,E)-germacrone, as well as its preferred conformation, was confirmed by NOESY. Sensory analysis of the two isomers revealed a fragrant, citrus, woody and weak marine odor, similar to the odor of the natural gorgonian, and (E,E)-germacrone has a three times more intense aroma than the (Z,E) isomer. <![CDATA[Rapid assessment of chemical compounds from <em>Phyllogorgia dilatata</em> using Raman spectroscopy]]> Abstract The gorgonian Phyllogorgia dilatata is endemic to the Brazilian coast which is listed as threatened with extinction. This species is known to produce sterols, mono- to tetra-terpenes, conjugated polyenals and peptides. The main objective of this study is to present an alternative method for identification of different classes of compounds based upon a Raman mapping technique using FT-Raman spectroscopy. The Raman analysis performed directly on the tissues (in situ) revealed the occurrence of peridinin, diadinoxanthin, conjugated polyenal and linoleic acid, that were also confirmed by Raman analysis of partitioned crude extracts. We have demonstrated that the technique has potential for use in guiding chromatographic separations and in providing information with respect to the early stages of a tissue necrosis through “purpling”. It may become a valuable non-destructive technique for monitoring the accumulation or production of metabolites during a biological interaction. <![CDATA[Intraspecific variation of meroditerpenoids in the brown alga <em>Stypopodium zonale</em> guiding the isolation of new compounds]]> Abstract Intraspecific variation on meroditerpenoids production by the brown marine alga Stypopodium zonale at four different populations along the Brazilian coast was analyzed using Principal Component Analysis over high-performance liquid chromatography profiles from algae extracts. The ordination of the samples by the similarities of their chromatographic traits showed the existence of three chemotypes: (i) the populations Búzios and Abrolhos which were characterized by the presence of atomaric acid (1), (ii) the population Atol das Rocas which contained the compound stypoldione (2), and (iii) the population Marataízes which was characterized by other peaks that guided the isolation of three new meroditerpenoids stypofuranlactone (3), 10,18-dihydroxy-5′a-desmethyl-5′-acetylatomaric acid (4), and the 10-keto-10-deisopropyliden-5′a-desmethyl-5′-acetylatomaric acid (5) together with the known compound the 10-keto-10-deisopropyliden-atomaric acid (6). The structures and relative stereochemistry of 3, 4 and 5 were elucidated by NMR and MS techniques. The observed chemical differences among populations of S. zonale can be related to its geographic distribution and can open an avenue to the discovery of new compounds in algae. <![CDATA[Perezone, from the gorgonian <em>Pseudopterogorgia rigida</em>, induces oxidative stress in human leukemia cells]]> Abstract Four bisabolanes 1–4, including perezone (1) and triacetyl perezone (2), were isolated through a bioassay-guided fractionation of the extract obtained from the Caribbean gorgonian coral Pseudopterogorgia rigida collected during an expedition cruise to the Bahamas. All isolated compounds showed to be cytotoxic toward panel of four human tumor cell lines, as quantified by the MTT assay after 72 h incubation. Perezone (1), the most active one, was further analyzed, showing to be cytotoxic, but not selective, in a 12-cell line panel comprising tumor and non-tumor, as well as human and murine cells. Additionally, 1 was assayed for cytotoxicity against HL-60 leukemic cells. Pre-treatment with an acute free radical scavenger (L-NAC) before exposure of cells to perezone virtually eliminated the generation of intracellular ROS and lessened its severe cytotoxicity. The protective effect delivered by L-NAC evidences that the mechanism of perezone-induced cytotoxicity is partially associated to production of ROS and a consequent induction of oxidative stress. <![CDATA[Antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic activities exhibited by endophytic fungi from the Brazilian marine red alga <em>Bostrychia tenella</em> (Ceramiales)]]> Abstract Marine environment is one of the most important sources regarding natural products research. Besides, marine microorganisms have been denominated as a talented natural source for discovery of new leads. Although the association of macroalgae and fungi has been described regarding ecological issues, there is a lack of studies about marine seaweed endophytic fungi. In this context, the goal of this study was to evaluate cytotoxic, antifungal and antibacterial activities of endophytic fungi isolated from the Brazilian marine seaweed Bostrychia tenella (J.V. Lamouroux) J. Agardh (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta). Forty-five endophytic microorganism strains were isolated from B. tenella. Crude extracts and organic fractions of ten selected strains were obtained after growth in rice medium. Samples were evaluated for cytotoxicity, antifungal and antibacterial assays. Penicillium strains showed positive results in a diversity of assays, and other five strains were active in at least one test. In addition, cytochalasin D was isolated from Xylaria sp. This alga is composed of a microbiological potential, since its endophytic strains exhibited remarkable biological properties. Moreover, cytochalasin D isolation has confirmed chemical potential of marine endophytic strains. This is the first study in which cultured fungi isolates from the Brazilian macroalga B. tenella were evaluated concerning biological properties. Results corroborated that this species could be a pharmaceutical source from marine environment. Furthermore, Acremonium implicatum is being firstly described as marine endophyte and Xylaria sp., Trichoderma atroviride and Nigrospora oryzae as marine seaweed endophytes. Thus, this work reports the first study relating detailed isolation, cultivation and biological evaluation (cytotoxic, antifungal and antibacterial) of endophytes Penicillium decaturense and P. waksmanii from the Brazilian marine red alga B. tenella. We are also reporting the isolation of cytochalasin D, a known antitumor and antibiotic compound, from Xylaria sp. strain. Despite widespread prevalence in terrestrial and marine habitats, this present work describes the first occurrence of cytochalasin D as a metabolite from marine seaweed endophyte. <![CDATA[Trypanocidal activity of organic extracts from the Brazilian and Spanish marine sponges]]> Abstract Chagas' disease is a parasitic infection caused by protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi that affect millions of people worldwide. The available drugs for treatment of this infection cause serious side effects and have variable efficacy, especially in the chronic phase of the disease. In this context, natural compounds have shown great potential for the discovery of new chemotherapies for the treatment of this infection and various other diseases. In present study, we evaluated the in vitro antiprotozoal activity of five species of Brazilian and Spanish marine sponges (Condrosia reniformes, Tethya rubra, Tethya ignis, Mycale angulosa and Dysidea avara) against T. cruzi. By GC–MS data, we observed that in these extracts were present the major classes of the following compounds: hydrocarbons, terpenes, steroids and alcohols. The extracts showed activity against the three forms of this parasite and did not induce toxicity in mammalian cells. Better activities were observed with the extracts of marine sponges, C. reniformes (EC50 = 0.6 μg/ml), D. avara (EC50 = 1.1 μg/ml) and M. angulosa (EC50 = 3.8 μg/ml), against trypomastigote forms. In intracellular amastigote forms, the extract of T. ignis showed IC50 of 7.2 μg/ml and SI of 24.65. On this basis, our results indicate that these extracts can be promising chemotherapeutic agents against T. cruzi. <![CDATA[Evaluation of acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of Brazilian red macroalgae organic extracts]]> Abstract Alzheimer's disease affects nearly 36.5 million people worldwide, and acetylcholinesterase inhibition is currently considered the main therapeutic strategy against it. Seaweed biodiversity in Brazil represents one of the most important sources of biologically active compounds for applications in phytotherapy. Accordingly, this study aimed to carry out a quantitative and qualitative assessment of Hypnea musciformis (Wulfen) J.V. Lamouroux, Ochtodes secundiramea (Montagne) M.A. Howe, and Pterocladiella capillacea (S.G. Gmelin) Santelices &amp; Hommersand (Rhodophyta) in order to determine the AChE effects from their extracts. As a matter of fact, the O. secundiramea extract showed 48% acetylcholinesterase inhibition at 400 μg/ml. The chemical composition of the bioactive fraction was determined by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS); this fraction is solely composed of halogenated monoterpenes, therefore allowing assignment of acetylcholinesterase inhibition activity to them. <![CDATA[Antischistosomal activity from Brazilian marine algae]]> Abstract Schistosomiasis may be caused by six different species of the genus Schistosoma. Current treatment is based only on two drugs: oxamniquine, which is only effective against the Schistosoma mansoni species, and praziquantel, which is ineffective against young parasites. Therefore, research on new drugs and their targets for the treatment of this disease is urgently needed. In the present work, the efficacies of several seaweeds extracts against S. mansoni were tested. Worm couples were incubated with different concentration of seaweed extracts for 120 h and monitored after the first 2 h and then every 24 h to evaluate death, mobility reduction and couple detachment. The extracts of 13 different seaweed species were tested in a first trial and the active extracts were further evaluated in lower concentrations. The extracts of Gracilaria ornata and species belonging to the genera Dictyota and Laurencia showed activity at relatively low concentrations. The active extracts were analyzed by LC–MS, and possible candidates are proposed. <![CDATA[Antimicrobial (including antimollicutes), antioxidant and anticholinesterase activities of Brazilian and Spanish marine organisms – evaluation of extracts and pure compounds]]> Abstract This work describes the antimicrobial, antioxidant and anticholinesterase activities in vitro of organic extracts from fourteen seaweeds, eleven sponges, two ascidians, one bryozoan, and one sea anemone species collected along the Brazilian and Spanish coast, as well as the isolation of the diterpene (4R, 9S, 14S)-4α-acetoxy-9β,14α-dihydroxydolast-1(15),7-diene (1) and halogenated sesquiterpene elatol (2). The most promising antimicrobial results for cell wall bacteria were obtained by extracts from seaweeds Laurencia dendroidea and Sargassum vulgare var. nanun (MIC 250 μg/ml), and by the bryozoan Bugula neritina (MIC 62.5 μg/ml), both against Staphylococcus aureus. As for antimollicutes, extracts from seaweeds showed results better than the extracts from invertebrates. Almost all seaweeds assayed (92%) exhibited some antimicrobial activity against mollicutes strains (Mycoplasma hominis,Mycoplasma genitalium,Mycoplasma capricolum and Mycoplasma pneumoniae strain FH). From these seaweeds, A1 (Canistrocarpus cervicornis), A11 (Gracilaria sp.) and A4 (Lobophora variegata) showed the best results for M. pneumoniae strain FH (MIC 250 μg/ml). Furthermore, compounds 1 and 2 were also assayed against mollicutes strains M. hominis,M. genitalium,M. capricolum,M. pneumoniae strain 129 and M. pneumoniae strain FH, which showed MIC &gt; 100 μg/ml. Antioxidant activities of extracts from these marine organisms were inactive, except for E7 (from sponge Ircinia sp.), which exhibited moderated antioxidant activities for two methods assayed (IC50 83.0 ± 0.1 μg/ml, and 52.0 ± 0.8 mg AA/g, respectively). Finally, for the anticholinesterase activity, all the 29 samples evaluated (100%) exhibited some level of activity, with IC50 &lt; 1000 μg/ml. From these, seaweeds extracts were considered more promising than marine invertebrate extracts [A10 (IC50 14.4 ± 0.1 μg/ml), A16 (IC50 16.4 ± 0.4 μg/ml) and A8 (IC50 14.9 ± 0.5 μg/ml)]. The findings of this work are useful for further research aiming at isolation and characterization of active compounds. <![CDATA[Anti-inflammatory effects of methanolic extract of green algae <em>Caulerpa mexicana</em> in a murine model of ulcerative colitis]]> Abstract Inflammatory bowel diseases, which include Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, are characterized by chronic and relapsed gut inflammation. Caulerpa mexicana is a type of green marine algae that can be found in tropical areas, such as the Brazilian Coastland. These macrophytes exhibit in vitro and in vivo anti-inflammatory properties such as the ability to reduce both cell migration to different sites and edema formation induced by chemical irritants. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of the C. mexicana methanolic extract on the treatment of colitis induced by dextran sodium sulfate. Acute experimental colitis was induced in BALB/c mice by treatment with 3% dextran sodium sulfate orally for 14 days. During this 14-day period, C. mexicana methanolic extract (2 mg/kg/day) was given intravenously on alternate days. Treatment with the methanolic extract significantly attenuated body weight loss and severe clinical symptoms. This was associated with a remarkable amelioration of colonic architecture disruption and a significant reduction in pro-inflammatory cytokine production. These results suggest that the anti-inflammatory action of C. mexicana methanolic extract on colorectal sites may be a useful therapeutic approach for inflammatory bowel diseases. <![CDATA[Antinociceptive activity of <em>Sargassum polyceratium</em> and the isolation of its chemical components]]> Abstract Marine algae have been the focus of important studies over the past fifty years, with a considerable number of components important to chemists and taxonomists having been isolated and characterized. The scientific data available on Sargassum polyceratium are extremely limited. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the antinociceptive activity of an ethanol extract of S. polyceratium and to isolate its components. Intraperitoneal treatment with ethanol extract of S. polyceratium reduced the number of acetic acid-induced writhes and the amount of time spent in paw-licking in the second phase of the formalin test. Ethanol extract of S. polyceratium also reduced the amount of time spent in paw-licking in the glutamate test; however, there was no difference in the reaction time in the hot plate test at any of the doses tested. The chemical components isolated from ethanol extract of S. polyceratium were identified using one- and two-dimensional spectroscopic methods such as infrared spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The analytical results were also compared with data obtained in the literature. The following porphyrin derivatives were isolated from S. polyceratium: 132-hydroxy-(132-R)-pheophytin-a, 132-hydroxy-(132-S)-pheophytin-a, pheophytin-a, and the steroid fucosterol. The present results indicate that the ethanol extract of S. polyceratium has antinociceptive activity. In addition, four new substances were isolated from the species evaluated. <![CDATA[Combined structure- and ligand-based virtual screening to evaluate caulerpin analogs with potential inhibitory activity against monoamine oxidase B]]> Abstract Natural marine products can help increase the quality of life in patients with neurological diseases. A large number of marine products act against Alzheimer's disease through varying pathways. According to structure- and ligand-based analyses, caulerpin, an alkaloid primarily isolated from the genus Caulerpa, possesses activity against monoamine oxidase B. To predict the activity of caulerpin, we employed Volsurf descriptors and the machine learning Random Forest algorithm in parallel with a structure-based methodology that included molecular docking. Using caulerpin as a lead compound, a database containing 108 analogs was evaluated, and nine were selected as active. The structures selected as active exhibited polar and non-polar substitutions on the caulerpin skeleton, which were relevant for their activity. Dragon consensus drug-like scoring was applied to identify the active analogs that might serve as good drug candidates, and the entire group presented satisfactory performance. These results indicate the possibility of using these analogs as potential leads against Alzheimer's disease. <![CDATA[Pyrimidine alkaloids from <em>Eudistoma vannamei</em>]]> Abstract Methanolic extracts of the Brazilian endemic ascidian Eudistoma vannamei have been extensively studied for their cytotoxic activity against several human cancer cell lines. Previous work reported the occurrence of purine derivatives and staurosporine alkaloids as the major nitrogen-containing compounds. In this study, we report the occurrence of three pyrimidine alkaloids in addition to cholesterol, sitosterol and stigmasterol.