Xiang Cui, Zehong Huang, Shanshan Deng, Yunxia Zhang, Guoyin Li, Lining Wang, Yanru Deng, Changjing Wu

Benzofuran Derivatives from Cortex Mori Radicis and Their Cholinesterase-Inhibitory Activity

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmaceutical Science

The phytochemical investigation of Cortex Mori Radicis led to the isolation and identification of a new prenylated benzofuranone (1) and four ring-opening derivatives (2–5) named albaphenol A–E, as well as nigranol A (6), together with ten 2-arylbenzofuran derivatives (7–16). The characterization of the structures of the new compounds and the structural revision of nigranol A (6) were conducted using the comprehensive analysis of spectroscopic data (1D/2D NMR, HRESIMS, CD, and XRD). Compounds 1–16 were tested for their inhibitory effects on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE). Compounds 1 and 4 showed weak BChE-inhibitory activity (IC50 45.5 and 61.0 μM); six 2-arylbenzofuran derivatives showed more-potent BChE-inhibitory activity (IC50 2.5–32.8 μM) than the positive control galantamine (IC50 35.3 μM), while being inactive or weakly inhibitory toward AChE. Cathafuran C (14) exhibited the most potent and selective inhibitory activity against BChE in a competitive manner, with a Ki value of 1.7 μM. The structure–activity relationships of the benzofuran-type stilbenes were discussed. Furthermore, molecular docking and dynamic simulations were performed to clarify the interactions of the inhibitor–enzyme complex.

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