Antimicrobial Prenylated Isoflavones from the Leaves of the Amazonian Medicinal Plant Vatairea guianensis Aubl.
Vatairea guianenis Aubl. (Fabaceae) is an Amazonian medicinal plant species traditionally used for treating skin diseases. In an initial screening, a V. guianensis leaf extract and its subextracts showed antibacterial and antifungal activities. The EtOAc subextract was selected for chemical work-up and afforded five known (1–4, and 8) and six undescribed isoflavones, vatairenones C–H (5–7, 9–11). All isoflavones are prenylated in position C-8, displaying either chain-prenylated (1–7) or ring-closed forms (8–11). The most bioactive compound 3 exhibited in vitro activity against clinically relevant bacteria and fungi with IC50 values ranging from 6.8 to 26.9 µM. Due to its broad antimicrobial activity and low general toxicity compound 3 is a potential lead compound for structural modifications. The results of the present study support the ethnomedicinal use of V. guianensis in the treatment of dermatological disorders. 1H NMR spectra of some of the isolated compounds showed intricate signal patterns, which might explain repeated errors in assigning the correct structure of the isoflavonoid B-ring in the literature and which we resolved by higher order spectra simulations.