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Secondary metabolites from endemic Iranecio species from Iran
The genus Iranecio belongs to the Asteraceae and contains four species, whose main habitat is Iran. Except for botanical information in the Flora Iranica , no information about the chemistry of the plants is given in the literature. Since many members of the Asteraceae contain secondary metabolites which display cytotoxic effects [2,3], extracts from Iranecio elbruzensis Bioss (endemic to Iran) and I. othonae were tested for cytotoxic activity, following the method previously reported by Azizi et al. , IC50 values were found at 1mg/ml and 0.75mg/ml, respectively. Aerial parts of I. elbruzensis and I. othonae were extracted with dichloromethane in a Soxhlet apparatus and the obtained extracts purified by column chromatography using methanol and Sephadex LH-20. Purification of two fractions by repeated column chromatography, flash chromatography or preparative TLC afforded the steroids β-sitosterol  and its glycoside daucosterol , as well as the sesquiterpene spathulenol  from I. elbruzensis. Iranecio othonae also contained daucosterol and a rarely found palmitic acid ester derivate of calenduladiol (see fig.) .
All structures were elucidated by means of their mass and NMR spectra. Calenduladiol palmitate, which was found in larger amounts, will be tested on its cytotoxicity in the near future.
Acknowledgements: Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology of Heinrich Heine University of Dusseldorf, Mrs Eva Müller
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