Novel GHB-derived natural products from European mistletoe (Viscum album)
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Context: The European white-berry mistletoe [Viscum album L. (Loranthaceae)] is among the oldest known medicinal plants. At present the most important application of mistletoe extracts is in the treatment of cancer. However, natural products specific to mistletoe have rarely been encountered in the current literature.
Objective: To discover novel natural products specific to European mistletoe.
Materials and methods: European mistletoe was extracted with methanol, purified to partition against diethyl ether and further purified with XAD-7 column chromatography. Pure compounds were separated by Sephadex column chromatography and preparative HPLC. The structures of the novel compounds were established using a combination of several 2D NMR spectroscopic techniques and mass spectrometry.
Results: A new type of natural product derived from the methyl ester of g-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) coupled to hydroxybenzoic acids, namely 3-(3'-carbomethoxypropyl) gallic acid and 3-(3'-carbomethoxypropyl)-7→3''-protocatechoyl galloate were characterized from European white-berry mistletoe. Condensation of the 3-hydroxyl of gallic acid with the 4-hydroxyl of GHB significantly reduced the radical scavenging properties of the former compound.
Discussion and conclusion: The characterized compounds define a novel group of natural products that may be of particular interest because it appears that the two new compounds are not closely related to any known natural product.