Background: Inflammation and oxidative stress are very closely related to pathophysiological
processes and linked to multiple chronic diseases. Traditionally, the coconut fruits were used in Guatemala
for treatment of dermatitis and inflammation. Isolation of the anti-inflammatory agent from the
hard shell of the coconut fruit was targeted in the current study.
Methods: Fractionation of ethanolic extract of the coconut hard shell was done by using column chromatography,
solvent treatments and TLC that led to the isolation of a molecule.
Results and Discussion: Spectral characterization of the molecule by LC-MS/MS QTOF, FTIR, 1HNMR,
13C-NMR, HMQC and HMBC indicated that it is a novel keto fatty acid, which is named as
nuciferoic acid. Hyaluronidase inhibitory potential of the nuciferoic acid was found to be moderate. It
was further docked in all the ten cavities of hyaluronidase and was compared with the substrate
hyaluronic acid. Cavity 1 and cavity 4 could be the probable sites of action on hyaluronidase for
nuciferoic acid. ADME and toxicological characterization suggested that the key sites of metabolism on
nuciferoic acid are C1, C2, C14 and C17. Toxicity prediction against 55 toxicological endpoints revealed
that nuciferoic acid does not have any indication of existing toxicological features.
Conclusion: A novel keto fatty acid, nuciferoic acid, from C. nucifera hard shell has been isolated and
characterized. It was found to inhibit hyaluronidase activity, which indicated its potential application as
an anti-inflammatory drug or as an adjuvant.