Physalin O possesses anti-inflammatory activity, it exhibited conjugating abilities with GSH and also showed significant nitric oxide (NO) production inhibiting activities.
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Physalins with anti-inflammatory activity are present in Physalis alkekengi var. franchetii and can function as Michael reaction acceptors.[Pubmed: 22197662
Michael reaction acceptors (MRAs) are a class of active molecules that are directly or indirectly involved in various cellular processes, including the regulation of many signaling pathways. In this study, the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) assay was used to demonstrate that the dichloromethane extract of Physalis alkekengi var. franchetii (DCEP) possesses anti-inflammatory activity that might be attributed to the modification of key cysteine residues in IKKβ by the MRAs in DCEP.
METHODS AND RESULTS:
To isolate these MRAs, glutathione (GSH) was employed, and a simple ultra-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) screening method was developed to investigate the GSH conjugates with potential MRAs. Five physalins, including one new compound isophysalin A (2), together with four known steroidal compounds, physalin A (1), Physalin O (3), physalin L (4) and physalin G (5), were isolated to evaluate the GSH conjugating abilities, and it was indicated that compounds 1, 2 and 3, which had a common α,β-unsaturated ketone moiety, exhibited conjugating abilities with GSH and also showed significant nitric oxide (NO) production inhibiting activities.
The anti-inflammatory activities of compounds 1, 2 and 3 might be attributed to their targeting multiple cysteine residues on IKKβ; therefore, the alkylation of IKKβ by compound 1 was further studied by micrOTOF-MS. The result showed that six cysteine residues (C(59), C(179), C(299), C(370), C(412), and C(618)) were alkylated, which indicated that IKKβ is a potential target for the anti-inflammatory activity of physalin A.