African Journal of
Pharmacy and Pharmacology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pharm. Pharmacol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0816
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPP
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 2207

Full Length Research Paper

Biotransformation of coumarins by Cunninghamella elegans

Ghadai A. Attia
  • Ghadai A. Attia
  • Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tanta University, Tanta 8130, Egypt.
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Kamillia A. Abou-El-Seoud
  • Kamillia A. Abou-El-Seoud
  • Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tanta University, Tanta 8130, Egypt.
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Abdel-Rahim S. Ibrahim
  • Abdel-Rahim S. Ibrahim
  • Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tanta University, Tanta 8130, Egypt.
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  •  Received: 27 July 2015
  •  Accepted: 22 October 2015
  •  Published: 15 May 2016

Abstract

Microbial biotransformation of coumarin (I) was undertaken using a battery of twenty five microorganisms. Among them, the fungus Cunninghamella elegans NRRL 1392 was the sole microbe that efficiently metabolized coumarin (I) into umbelliferone (II), 3, 4-dihydrocoumarin (V) and transcinnamic acid (VI). Umbelliferone was also biotransformed into 6, 7-dihydroxycoumarin (aesculetin, VII) and p-coumaric acid (VIII). On the other hand, warfarin (III) was biotransformed into 4`-hydroxywarfarin (IX) and also dicoumarol (IV) was transformed into 4-hydroxycoumarin (X) by the same microorganism. The structures of the metabolites were established using only one property and spectroscopic techniques including melting points, 1H NMR, 13C NMR and mass spectroscopy. The cytotoxic effect of coumarin substrates and their metabolites was also investigated.

Key words: Biotransformation, coumarins, Cunninghamella elegans, cytotoxic.