Iodinated Meroditerpenes from a Red Alga Callophycus sp.

Unique iodine-containing meroditerpenes iodocallophycoic acid A (1) and iodocallophycols A–D (25) were discovered from the Fijian red alga Callophycus sp. Because flexibility of the molecular skeleton impaired full characterization of relative stereochemistries by NMR spectroscopy, a DFT-based theoretical model was developed to derive relevant interproton distances which were compared to those calculated from NOE measurements, yielding the relative stereochemistries. The correct 2S,6S,7S,10S,14S enantiomers were then identified by comparison of theoretical and experimental ECD spectra. Biological activities of these iodinated and brominated meroditerpenes and additional new, related bromophycoic acid F (6) and bromophycoic acid A methyl ester (7), were evaluated for relevant human disease targets. Iodocallophycoic acid A (1) showed moderate antibiotic activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREF) with MIC values of 1.4 and 2.2 μg mL–1, respectively. It also potentiated the anti-MRSA activity of oxacillin in a synergistic fashion, resulting in an 8-fold increase in oxacillin potency, for a MIC of 16 μg mL–1.