Cytotoxic Physalins from Aeroponically Grown Physalis acutifolia

Guo Bo Xu, Ya Ming Xu, E. M.Kithsiri Wijeratne, Fatemeh Ranjbar, Manping X. Liu, A. A.Leslie Gunatilaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Aeroponically grown Physalis acutifolia afforded five new and six known withanolides including 10 physalins. The structures of the new withanolides, acutifolactone (1), 5β,6β-epoxyphysalin C (2), 5α-chloro-6β-hydroxyphysalin C (3), and an inseparable mixture of 5β,6β-epoxy-2,3-dihydrophysalin F-3β-O-sulfate (4) and 5β,6β-epoxy-2,3-dihydrophysalin C-3β-O-sulfate (5), were elucidated by analysis of their spectroscopic data and chemical interconversions. The known withanolides were identified as physalins B (6), D (7), F (8), H (9), I (10), and U (11) by comparison of their spectroscopic data with those reported. Evaluation of 1-11 and the derivatives, 13 and 13a, obtained from 4 and 5 against a panel of four human cancer cell lines [NCI-H460 (non-small-cell lung), SF-268 (CNS glioma), PC-3 (prostate adenocarcinoma), and MCF-7 (breast adenocarcinoma)] and normal human lung fibroblast (WI-38) cells revealed that physalins 2, 3, 8, and 9 exhibited selective cytotoxic activity to at least one of the cancer cell lines tested compared to the normal cells and that 7, 10, and 11 were inactive up to a concentration of 10.0 μM. These data provided some preliminary structure-activity relationships and suggested that the mechanism of cytotoxic activity of physalins may differ from other classes of withanolides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-194
Number of pages8
JournalJournal Of Natural Products
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 26 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Organic Chemistry


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