Cytotoxic activity against the P388 cell line was seen in a crude extract of the New Zealand shrub Lophomyrtus bullata
(Myrtaceae). Bioactivity-guided isolation led to a compound with NMR spectra complicated by the presence of two isomers. These crystallised together and an X-ray structure showed them to be stereoisomeric hybrids of triketone, phloroglucinol and bullatenone units. NMR measurements on the mixed isomers, as well as a cyclic ether produced from them by acid catalysed dehydration, were consistent with these structures. The natural products, named bullataketals A and B, have cytotoxic activity against the P388 cell line (IC50 1 µg ml−1), and antimicrobial activity against Bacillus subtilis.
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