Gil Belofsky (Chemistry)
The flowering plant Dalea nana Torr. ex A. Gray, native to Arizona, has never been explored for its chemical content. In our ongoing research of the chemistry of Dalea spp., we explore the potential for medicinal activity of the isolated compounds against fungal infections. The plant roots were extracted in methanol and the metabolites purified through successive column chromatographic fractionation. The root extract of D. nana afforded a suite of compounds, which were characterized by 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy and supported by high resolution mass spectrometry. We will report here the isolation and structure determination of these metabolites highlighted by a presentation of an example of the structural details of one of the compounds. The pure compounds will be tested in collaboration with the laboratory of Professor Marcin Kolaczkowski, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland. His research involves the testing of compounds against a panel of genetically-altered test fungi of the genera Candida and Saccharomyces. These designer strains up- or down-regulate key membrane transport proteins that enable fungal multi-drug resistance. The crude extract of the root of D. nana, and fractions from the first chromatographic step, exhibited activities ranging from 21–167 g/mL, and appeared to inhibit transport in specific fungal strains. The pure compounds reported here result from further purification of these active materials.
Keywords: Drug Resistance, Chromatography, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy