This study investigated the in vitro antimicrobial and antiproliferative activities of the methanol extract and of purified compounds from fruits of Ficus bubu Warb. Extensive chromatographic isolations provided two stilbenes, that were identified by NMR and mass spectrometry as trans-resveratrol 4a and piceid 7a, in addition to several other chemical compounds. It was found that trans-resveratrol 4a exhibited the best antimicrobial activity (MIC value of 11 μg/mL), and presented a good anticancer activity (IC50 of 36 and 57 µM against A549 and SK-MEL-28 cancer cell lines, respectively). The peracetylation of isolated compounds was found to increase their antiproliferative activity. The peracetylated piceid 7b was the most efficient with an IC50 of 16 µM against the cells of melanoma skin cancer SK-MEL-28 while the starting crude extract did not show any activity. In contrast, this crude extract exhibited good antimicrobial activity against all tested strains. The present study constitutes the first phytochemical report on the methanol extract from F. bubu fruits and establishes the preliminary basis for its medical use. Finally, it is worth mentioning that polyphenolic piceid 7a is isolated for the first time from a plant of the genus Ficus.
Keywords: Bioactivity, cancer, chemotaxonomy, Ficus bubu, piceid hexaacetate, piceid, trans-resveratrol triacetate, transresveratrol.
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