Antimicrobial and selected in vitro enzyme inhibitory effects of leaf extracts, flavonols and indole alkaloids isolated from Croton menyharthii.Molecules. 2013 Oct 11; 18(10):12633-44.M
Croton species are used in folk medicine in the management of infections, inflammation and oxidative stress-related diseases. In order to isolate, characterize and evaluate the bioactive constituents of Croton menyharthii Pax leaf extracts, repeated column fractionation of the ethyl acetate fraction from a 20% aqueous methanol crude extract afforded three flavonols identified by NMR (1D and 2D) spectroscopic methods as myricetrin-3-O-rhamnoside (myricetrin, 1), quercetin-3-O-rhamnoside (2) and quercetin (3) along with an indole alkaloid, (E)-N-(4-hydroxycinnamoyl)-5-hydroxytryptamine, [trans-N-(p-coumaroyl) serotonin, 4]. All the compounds are reported from the leaf extract of this plant for the first time. The crude extracts, four solvent fractions (hexane, DCM, ethyl acetate and butanol) and isolated compounds obtained from the leaves were evaluated for their inhibitory effects on selected bacteria, a fungus (Candida albicans), cyclooxygenase (COX-2), α-glucosidase and acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Amongst the compounds, quercetin (3) was the most active against Bacillus subtilis and Candida albicans while myricetrin-3-O-rhamnoside (1) and trans-N-(p-coumaroyl) serotonin (4) were the most active compounds against Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia and Staphylococcus aureus. The inhibitory activity of myricetrin-3-O-rhamnoside (1) against COX-2 was insignificant while that of the other three compounds 2-4 was low. The AChE inhibitory activity of the alkaloid, trans-N-(p-coumaroyl) serotonin was high, with a percentage inhibitory activity of 72.6% and an IC50 value of 15.0 µg/mL. The rest of the compounds only had moderate activity. Croton menyharthii leaf extracts and isolated compounds inhibit α-glucosidase at very low IC50 values compared to the synthetic drug acarbose. Structure activity relationship of the isolated flavonols 1-3 is briefly outlined. Compounds 1-4 and the leaf extracts exhibited a broad spectrum of activities. This validates the ethnomedicinal use of the plant in folk medicine.