Lorneic Acid Analogues from an Endophytic Actinomycete

Our natural products discovery program utilizes endophytic actinomycetes associated with plants and employs biological assays and HPLC-based metabolite profiles as the preliminary screen to identify strains of interest, followed by large-scale fermentation and isolation, leading to new and/or bioactive natural products. Six new trialkyl-substituted aromatic acids, namely, lorneic acids E–J (<b>1</b>–<b>6</b>), together with two known analogues (<b>7</b> and <b>8</b>), were isolated and identified from the culture extract of Streptomyces sp. KIB-H1289, an endophytic actinomycete obtained from the inner tissue of the bark of Betula mandshurica Nakai. The structures were characterized by interpretation of their spectroscopic data, mainly 1D and 2D NMR. Among them, compound <b>5</b> contains a unique disulfide bond that is presumably derived from <i>N</i>-acetylcysteine. All isolated metabolites were evaluated for their inhibitory activity on tyrosinase.