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Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências

Print version ISSN 0001-3765On-line version ISSN 1678-2690

An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. vol.75 no.1 Rio de Janeiro Mar. 2003 

New triterpene isolated from Eschweilera longipes (Lecythidaceae)



Departamento de Química, ICE, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro
23851-970 Seropédica, RJ, Brazil





The phytochemical studies of Eschweilera longipes Miers (Lecythidaceae) have led to the identification of a new triterpene 3b, 24-dihydroxyfriedelane, the known 1b, 2b, 3b, 19b-tetrahydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic acid (1b-hydroxyeucaphic acid) besides the saponin sitosterol 3bO-bD-glucopyranoside. The structures were established from the IR, NMR and mass spectra data including 2D NMR experiments of natural substances and of the acetyl derivative of the new triterpene.

Key words: Eschweilera longipes, Lecythidaceae, triterpenoids.


O estudo fitoquímico de Eschweilera longipes Miers (Lecythidaceae) conduziu a identificação de um novo triterpeno 3b, 24-diidroxifriedelano, do ácido 1b, 2b, 3b, 19b-tetraidroxiursa-12-en-28-óico conhecido como ácido 1b-hidroxieucáfico além da saponina 3bO-bD-glucopiranosilsitosterol. As estruturas foram estabelecidas com análise de dados espectrais de IV, massas e RMN incluindo experimentos 2D das substâncias naturais e do derivado acetilado do triterpeno novo.

Palavras-chave: Eschweilera longipes, Lecythidaceae, triterpenoides.




Lecythidaceae is a pantropical family (about 25 genera and 400 species) with the greatest concentration of genera in tropical South America (Brito 1986).

Species of this family have been reported as showing pharmacological activities and the chemical study of some species as Petersianthus macrocarpus, Barringtonia acutangula and Cereya arborea, allowed the identification of pentacyclic triterpenes, saponins, elagic acid and indolo[2,1-b]quinazolinic alkaloids (Pant and Rastogi 1979, Das and Mahato 1983, Pal et al. 1991, Massiot et al. 1992 and Bergman 1989).

Eschweilera longipes Miers is a tree that occurs in the north and north-east of Brazil and has been used in the wood industry and in construction. Only triterpenes have been found in the Eschweilera genera. Two previous papers report the isolation of ten known triterpenes along with sitosterol, stigmasterol, a-tocopherol and tocotrienol from E. longipes (Carvalho et al. 1998) and three pentacyclic triterpenoids which were isolated from the bark and leaves of E. rabeliana (Carvalho et al. 1995).




Mp's are uncorrected. NMR spectra were measured in Pyridine-d6, MeOD4 or CDCl3 solutions and recorded on a Bruker (200 and 500 MHz for 1H and 50.3 and 100 MHz for 13C, respectively) and on a GEOL (400 MHz for 1H and 100 MHz for 13C) spectrometer using TMS as internal standard. High resolution mass spectra were obtained using a VG Auto Spec-300 spectrometer; FT-IR spectra were recorded in KBr disks on a Perkin-Elmer 1600 spectrometer. Chromatography was performed using Aldrich silica gel with suitable granulation for column and preparative TLC. The visualization of spots was done by UV (254 and 366 nm) and exposure to iodine vapor.


The wood and leaves were collected in the Amapá State. A voucher specimen (nº 00358) is deposited in the Amapaense Herbarium HAMAB of the Museu Angelo Moreira da Costa Lima-IEPA, Macapá, Amapá, Brazil.


The dried leaves (0.7Kg) were extracted exhaustively by CH2Cl2 maceration at room temperature. The solvent was removed under vacuum to yield a residue (10.38g). This residue was chromatographed on silica gel column starting with CH2Cl2 and successive mixtures of CH2Cl2-EtOAc, EtOAc-MeOH and finally, MeOH as eluent to afford 70 fractions of 50 mL each. The 23-40 fractions, eluted with EtOAc-MeOH (9:1), gave a colourless solid (1, 70mg, mp 340ºC) which is insoluble in CDCl3. The derivative 1a was prepared dissolving 1 in a mixture of pyridine and Ac2O (1:1) and the solution was allowed to stand for 24h at room temperature. The usual work-up gave a residue which was dried under vacuum and crystallized from AcOEt to yield the diacetate (1a, 65mg, mp 318ºC).

The dried wood (1.0 Kg) was extracted exhaustively by MeOH maceration at room temperature. The solvent was removed under vacuum to yield a residue (47.7g). This residue was dissolved in MeOH:H2O (8:2) and extracted with dichloromethane. The fraction CH2Cl2 was chromatographed on silica gel column using CH2Cl2 and successive mixtures of CH2Cl2-EtOAc, EtOAc-MeOH and finally, MeOH as eluent to afford 220 fractions of 50mL each. The 9-17 fractions, eluted with CH2Cl2, gave a colourless solid (2, 40mg, mp 285ºC) soluble in MeOH. The 70-82 fractions, eluted with EtOAc-MeOH (9:1), gave colourless solid (3, 40mg, mp 290ºC). The derivative 3a was prepared dissolving 3 in a mixture of pyridine and Ac2O (1:1) and working up as usual.



The chromatographic fractionation of the dichloromethane extract from the leaves of Eschweilera longipes afforded two triterpene, 1 and 2, besides the saponin sitosterol 3bO-bD-glucopyranoside (3).

The IR spectrum of 1 showed absorption bands attributed to hydroxyl (3450 cm-1),  (1100 and 1050 cm-1) and very strong at 2950 and 2960 cm-1 suggesting a terpenoid with primary and secondary alcohol. The difficulty to dissolve it in CDCl3 led to prepare the acetyl derivative treating it with pyridine and Ac2O (1:1).

The 1H NMR spectrum of 1a displayed singlet signals for seven tertiary methyl groups of a pentacyclic triterpene and two signals at 1.96 (s, 3H) and 2.00 (s, 3H) of acetyl groups. The signals at 4.40 and 4.60 (d, J = 13 Hz) are typical of two methylene hydrogens. The H-3 was represented by the signal at 4.94 (br d, J = 2.4 Hz). The comparative analysis of HBBD and DEPT 13C NMR spectra was used to recognize the signals corresponding to six quaternary carbons, two monoxigenated (dCH74.5 and dCH265.1) besides signals of seven methyl, eleven methylene, four methyne groups and two acetyl groups (d170.1, 170.0, 21.2 and 21.1). Those data allowed to propose the molecular formula C30H50O2 (O=C-CH3)2 that was confirmed by HRMS with M+ 528.41740 Da [calcd for C30H35(O2CCH3)2 528.41808]. Thus, these spectral data, the 2D experiments (1H-1H-COSY, 1H-13C-COSY-nJCH, n=1,2,3) and comparison with 13C NMR spectroscopic values described in the literature for acetyl friedelinol (Carvalho et al. 1995, Mahato and Kundu 1994 and Ahmad and Atta-ur-Rahman 1994) show the absence of signal at 15.7 (CH3-24) in the fridelinol. This observation and the difference of the C-5 and C-6 chemical shift of 1 and those of acetyl friedelinol led to locate one acetyl group at C-24. The prominent peaks in the HRMS at m/z 455 (1b, 21,5%, M- CH2OCOCH3), 395 [1c, 8,3%, M- (CH2OCOCH3 + HOCOCH3)], 344 (1d, 33,9%, C25H44), 274 (1e, 17,3%, C20H34) 255 (1f, 15%) and 205 (1g, 23.8%, C15H25), Figure 1, also suggested the presence of two acetyl groups in the C-3 and C-24 carbons. The NOE observed between H-24/H-25, H-24/H-23, H-24/H-1 in the NOESY spectra of 1a (3b, 24-diacetylfriedelane) was used to confirm the structure of the new triterpene (1) as 3b, 24-dihydroxyfriedelane, Figure 1. The complete 1H and 13C NMR (1D and 2D) assignments of 1 and 1a are described in Table I.


Fig. 1 - Structures for compounds isolated from E. longipes, acethyl derivatives and forprominent peaks in the HRMS.




Compound 2 was characterized as 1b-hydroxyeucaphic acid by analysis of IR, NMR 1H and 13C (HBBD and DEPT) and 2D experiments (1H-1H-COSY, 1H-13C-COSY, nJCH, n=1,2,3) and EI-MS spectra including comparison of the dH chemical shifts in pyridine registered in the literature (Guang et al. 1989). The NOE signal between H-1/H-5, H-1/H-9, H-2/H-24, H-2/H-25, H-3/H-24, H-3/H-23, H-11/H-25, H-18/H-29, H-18/H-12 and H-12/H-29 observed in the NOESY spectrum were used to confirm the structure of 2 as 1b, 2b, 3b, 19b-tetrahydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic acid. The better resolution of the ABC system (H-2, H-1 and H-3) and the absence of 13C NMR data of 2 in the literature led us to make the complete assignment of dH and dC in methanol. The EIMS spectra data were used to confirm the structure. dH (MeOD4, 200 MHz): 3.39 (d, 8.4Hz, H-1), 3.63 (dd, 8.4 and 3.2 Hz, H-2), 3.45 (d, 3.2 Hz, H-3), 1.3 (m, H-5), 2.1 (m, H-9), 5.20 (brs, H-12), 2.47 (s, H-18), 0.96 (s, H-23), 0.87 (s, H-24), 1.00 (s, H-25), 0.78 (s, H-26), 1.34 (s, H-27), 1.18 (s, H-29), 0.92 (d, 6.6Hz, H-30); dC (MeOD4, 50.3 MHz): 79.9 (C-1), 70.4 (C-2), 79.3 (C-3), 39.1 (C-4), 48.2 (C-5), 18.0 (C-6), 32.8 (C-7), 41.2 (C-8), 48.0 (C-9), 37.4 (C-10), 25.2 (C-11), 129.3 (C-12), 137.3 (C-13), 43.2 (C-14), 29.4 (C-15), 28.3 (C-16), 48.2 (C-17), 53.3 (C-18), 72.2 (C-19), 41.2 (C-20), 26.9 (C-21), 37.6 (C-22), 27.7 (C-23), 21.0 (C-24), 11.6 (C-25), 16.4 (C-26), 23.5 (C-27), 180.0 (COOH), 25.3 (C-29), 15.2 (C-30); EIMS, m/z (%): 504(10%), 264(35%), 246(15%), 201(45%), 173(20%) and 146(100%).

The spectrometric analysis of IR, 1H and 13C (PND and DEPT) NMR of 3 including comparison with literature data (Chaurasia and Wichtl 1987) were used to identify the saponin 3 as sitosterol 3bO-bD-glucopyranoside, Figure 1.



The authors are grateful to CNPq, CAPES and FAPERJ for research fellowships and financial support. We thank to CENAUREMN-FINEP (Centro Nordestino de Aplicação e Uso de Ressonância Magnética Nuclear), UFCE, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil for 1H (500 MHz) and 13C (125 MHz) NMR spectra. We thank to UENF (Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense) for 1H (400 MHz), 13C (100 MHz), NOESY and MS spectra and to UNICAMP for HR-MS spectra.



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Correspondence to
Dr. Mário Geraldo de Carvalho

Manuscript received on May 22, 2002;
accepted for publication on November 17, 2002;


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