Analysis of Ethyl succinate and Ethyl β-riboside from Acalypha wilkesiana var. golden-yellow (Muell & Arg.)

Olawale H Oladimeji, Stanlinus N Njinga, Unwam-Abasi C Udo


Background: The genus, Acalypha is one of the many genera in the Euphorbiaceae family. A. wilkesiana var. golden-yellow (Muell & Arg.) syn. A. wilkesiana var. tropical tempest is a species and variety employed in traditional medicine for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, inflammations, bacterial and skin fungal infections amongst many others. Before now, some biological investigations had been done but very limited chemical studies have been carried out on the plant.

Objectives: This study was principally done to isolate chemical compound(s) inherent in the plant and also evaluate their antimicrobial potential.

Methodology: The leaves were to extracted cold with 50% ethanol and the resultant aqueous crude extract partitioned with butanol. Isolates obtained from the silica-gel column chromatography of the butanol fraction were analysed for antimicrobial activities using the hole-in agar diffusion technique. The compounds were screened for both antibacterial and antifungal activities using the microbes namely, B. subtilis, S. aureus, E. coli, P. aeruginosa, S. typhi, V. cholerae and C. albicans.

Results: Two compounds, designated as compounds W-1 [Rf (0.76); [n]20D (1.4333 )] and W-2 [Rf (0.58)] were isolated. The structures of W-1 and W-2 have been established to be 4-ethoxy-4-oxobutanoic acid (ethyl succinate) and 2-ethoxy-5(hydroxymethyl)-oxalane-3,4-diol (ethyl β-riboside) respectively using the 1H NMR, 13C NMR, MS and IR spectral techniques. Both compounds were inactive against B. subtilis, S. aureus and E. coli. Interestingly, W-1 and W-2 demonstrated very minimal activity against P. aeruginosa, S. typhi and V. cholerae. However, neither gave any anticandidal activity.

Conclusion: The two isolates (though generally weakly active) would serve as chemotaxonomic markers for this species and variety in particular and the genus, Acalypha in general.

Keywords: Ethyl succinate; ethyl β-riboside; A. wilkesiana var. golden-yellow (Muell & Arg.)


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