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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 103-109

Secondary metabolites from lichen Usnea longissima and its pharmacological relevance

Department of Botany, Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Santanu Paul
Department of Botany, Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Calcutta, 35 Ballygunge Circular Road, Kolkata - 700 019, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/pr.pr_111_18

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The objective of the study was to isolate chemical compounds from lichen Usnea longissima (UL) and to use lichen metabolites as antibiotics, antifungal, anti-HIV, anticancer, antiprotozoan, and antibacterial agents. Preparation of the lichen extracts: Fine powder of UL lichen was extracted using acetone, methanol, and water in a Soxhlet extractor. In a rotary evaporator, the extracts were filtered and then concentrated under reduced pressure. The dry extracts were stored at 18°C until they were used in the tests. The extracts were used for various assays. Sixteen compounds were isolated from lichen UL using various chromatographic techniques, including silica gel, Sephadex LH-20, operational data store, and semipreparative high-performance liquid chromatography. By spectroscopic data analyses, their structures were identified as (1) useanol, (2) lecanorin, (3) 3-hydroxy-5-methylphenyl 2-hydroxy-4-methoxy-6-methylbenzoate, (4) lecanorin E, (5) 3'-methylevernic acid, (6) evernic acid, (7) barbatinic acid, (8) 3,7-dihydroxy-1,9-dimethyldibenzofuran, (9) orcinol, (10) O-methyl orcinol, (11) methyl orsellinate, (12) methyl everninate, (13) 2,5-dimethyl-1,3-benzenediol, (14) 2-hydroxy-4-methoxy-3,6-dimethyl benzoic acid, (15) ethyl everninate, and (16) ethyl 2,4-dihydroxy-6-methylbenzoate. UL lichen is a great source of secondary metabolites, which can be used as antimicrobial, antiproliferative, and anticancer agents. This lichen can be used as a natural antioxidant or antitumor agent in clinical practice; commercially, it can be used as an anticancer drug.

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