New Flavonoids from the Saudi Arabian Plant Retama raetam which Stimulate Secretion of Insulin and Inhibit α-Glucosidase

Authors Organisations
  • Mohammad Nur-e-Alam(Author)
    King Saud University
  • Muhammad Yousaf(Author)
    King Saud University
  • Ifat Shah(Author)
  • Rahman M. Hafizur(Author)
    University of Karachi
  • Usman Ghani(Author)
    King Saud University
  • Sarfaraz Ahmed(Author)
    King Saud University
  • Abdul Hameed(Author)
    University of Karachi
  • Michael D. Threadgill(Author)
    University of Bath
  • Adnan J. Al-Rehaily(Author)
    King Saud University
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1266-1276
Number of pages11
JournalOrganic and Biomolecular Chemistry
Early online date21 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 07 Feb 2019
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Retama raetam is a bush which is a member of the family Fabaceae. It is used traditionally in North Africa and Saudi Arabia for the treatment of diabetes. Several flavonoids and alkaloids were already known from this plant. Chromatographic fractionation and purification led to the isolation of three new derivatives of prenylated flavones, retamasin C-E and four new derivatives of prenylated isoflavones, retamasin F-I, in addition to two isoflavones which had not previously been reported in this plant. Particularly interesting structures included isoflavones containing 3,5-dihydro-2H-2,5-methanobenzo[e][1,4]dioxepine and 3a,8b-dihydro-7-hydroxyfuro[3,2-b]benzo[2,1-d]furan units, both of which are new amongst natural product flavonoids. Five new examples (two flavones and three isoflavones) strongly enhanced the glucose-triggered release of insulin by murine pancreatic islets and one isoflavone was a potent inhibitor of -glucosidase. This study may rationalise the traditional medicinal use of R. raetam and provides new leads for drug design in the treatment of diabetes