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C‑8 N‑Ethyl-2-pyrrolidinone-Substituted Flavan-3-ols from the Leaves of Camellia sinensis var. pubilimba

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-06-11, 00:00 authored by Xiu-Hua Meng, Hong-Tao Zhu, Hui Yan, Dong Wang, Chong-Ren Yang, Ying-Jun Zhang
Camellia sinensis var. pubilimba, one variety of the genus Camellia sect. Thea (Theaceae), has been used for producing green tea mainly by the local people of its growing areas of Guangxi province, China. Forty compounds, including eight C-8 N-ethyl-2-pyrrolidinone-substituted flavan-3-ols (18) and their substituted unit N-ethyl-5-hydroxy-2-pyrrolidinone (9), four flavan-3-ol monomers (1013) and one dimer (14), nine flavonoids (1523), three hydrolyzable tannins (2426), two lignans (2728), 11 simple phenolics (2939), and caffeine (40), were first isolated and identified from the leaves. Their structures were determined by detailed spectroscopic analysis and comparison with the literature data and authentic samples. Both 1 and 4 were obtained as a mixture of the N-ethyl-2-pyrrolidinone C-5 enantiomers (1a and 1b and 4a and 4b), respectively, while the resolution of another three pairs of enantiomers (2 and 3, 5 and 6, and 7 and 8) was achieved. Among them, 1b is a new compound whose NMR data together with its enantiomer (1a) were reported for the first time, while 2 and 3 are two new natural products. Most of the isolates exhibited significant antioxidant activities, stronger than ascorbic acid and trolox, while parts of the isolates, particularly C-8 N-ethyl-2-pyrrolidinone-substituted flavan-3-ols, showed obvious inhibitory effects on acetylcholinesterase (AChE). The results indicated that C. sinensis var. pubilimba is a valuable plant resource for tea production.