Extracellular melanogenesis inhibitory activity and the structure-activity relationships of ugonins from Helminthostachys zeylanica roots.

PMID 25979512


Ugonin J, K, and L, which are luteolin derivatives, were isolated from Helminthostachys zeylanica roots by a series of chromatographic separations of a 50% ethanol/water extract. They were identified using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), ultraviolet (UV) spectra, and ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-TOF-MS). In this study, the intra and extracellular melanogenic activity of the ugonins were determined using B16 melanoma cells. The results showed that ugonin J at 12.5, 25, and 50μM reduced extracellular melanin contents to 75, 16, and 14%, respectively, compared to the control. This indicates that ugonin J showed a stronger activity than arbutin, used as the positive control. Moreover, ugonin K showed a more potent inhibition with 19, 8, and 9% extracellular melanin reduction at the same concentrations, than that shown by ugonin J. In contrast, ugonin L did not inhibit intra- or extracellular melanogenic activity. Furthermore, in order to investigate the structure-activity relationships of the ugonins, the intra- and extracellular melanogenic activity of luteolin, methylluteolin, quercetin, eriodictyol, apigenin, and chrysin were determined. Consequently, it was suggested that the catechol and flavone skeleton of ugonin K is essential for the extracellular melanogenic inhibitory activity, and the low polarity substituent groups on the A ring of ugonin K may increase the activity.