Volume 31 (2008) Issue 5 Pages 1041-1044
A novel sesquiterpene furan compound CJ-01 was isolated from the methanol extract of the whole plant of Chloranthus japonicus SIEB. by monitoring the inhibitory activity of chitin synthase 2 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Based on spectroscopic analysis, the structure of compound CJ-01 was determined as 3,4,8a-trimethyl-4a,7,8,8a-tetrahydro-4a-naphto[2,3-b]furan-9-one. The compound inhibited chitin synthase 2 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in a dose-dependent manner with an IC50 of 39.6 μg/ml, whereas it exhibited no inhibitory activities against chitin synthase 1 and 3 of S. cerevisiae up to 280 μg/ml. CJ-01 has 1.7-fold stronger inhibitory activity than polyoxin D (IC50=70 μg/ml), a well-known chitin synthase inhibitor. These results indicate that the compound is a specific inhibitor of chitin synthase 2 from S. cerevisiae. In addition, CJ-01 showed antifungal activities against various human and phytopathogenic fungi. Therefore, the compound might be an interesting lead to develop effective antifungal agents.