Bioassay-guided fractionation of the crude extract (80% EtOH) of the leaves of Cestrum schlechtendahlii, a plant used by Q'eqchi' Maya healers for treatment of athlete's foot, resulted in the isolation and identification of two spirostanol saponins (1 and 2). Structure elucidation by MS, 1D-NMR, and 2D-NMR spectroscopic methods identified them to be the known saponin (25R)-1β,2α-dihydroxy-5α-spirostan-3-β-yl-O-α-l-rhamnopyranosyl-(1 → 2)-β-d-galactopyranoside (1) and new saponin (25R)-1β,2α-dihydroxy-5α-spirostan-3-β-yl-O-β-d-galactopyranoside (2). While 2 showed little or no antifungal activity at the highest concentration tested, 1 inhibited growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 15-25 μM), Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Fusarium graminearum (MIC of 132-198 μM).

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Keywords antifungal, Cestrum schlechtendahlii, Q'eqchi' Maya, saponin, Solanaceae, traditional medicine
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Journal Phytotherapy Research
Ta, C.A.K. (Chieu Anh Kim), Guerrero-Analco, J.A. (J. Antonio), Roberts, E. (Elizabeth), Liu, R. (Rui), Mogg, C.D. (Christopher D.), Saleem, A. (Ammar), … Arnason, J.T. (John T.). (2016). Antifungal Saponins from the Maya Medicinal Plant Cestrum schlechtendahlii G. Don (Solanaceae). Phytotherapy Research, 30(3), 439–446. doi:10.1002/ptr.5545