Cucurbitane triterpenes from the fruiting bodies and cultivated mycelia of Leucopaxillus gentianeus

Marco Clericuzio, Silvia Tabasso, Maria Ausilia Bianco, Graziella Pratesi, Giovanni Beretta, Stella Tinelli, Franco Zunino, Giovanni Vidari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A reinvestigation of the fruiting bodies of the mushroom Leucopaxillus gentianeus, allowed the isolation of two minor cucurbitane triterpenes, namely, cucurbitacin D (5) and the new metabolite 16-deoxycucurbitacin B (6). The latter compound lacks an oxygenated substituent at C-16, an unprecedented structural feature among congeners of cucurbitacin B. The cucurbitanes present in the fruiting bodies were compared with those extracted from mycelia grown on the modified Melin-Norkans (MMN) culture medium. Cucurbitacins B (1) and D (5), as well as leucopaxillones A (3) and B (4), were isolated from both sources; in contrast, 16-deoxycucurbitacin B (6) and a mixture of fatty acid esters of cucurbitacin B (2) were absent in the mycelia. A new triterpene, 18-deoxyleucopaxillone A (7), was isolated from the mycelia, but was not detected in the fruiting bodies. The antiproliferative activity of the isolated triterpenes was determined against the NCI-H460 human tumor cell line, in comparison with the antitumor compound topotecan, a well-known topoisomerase I inhibitor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1796-1799
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Natural Products
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pharmacology


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