The phytochemical investigation of an alkaloidal extract of Holarrhena pubescens roots led to the isolation and identification of a new pregnene-type alkaloid, mokluangin D (1), together with nine known steroidal alkaloids (2-10). The structure of the new metabolite was determined on the basis of spectroscopic analyses including 1D- and 2D-NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. Compounds 3 and 4 showed potent antimalarial activity against Plasmodium falciparum K1 stain with IC50 values of 1.2 and 2.0 μM, respectively, and showed weak cytotoxic activity against the NCI-H187 cell line with IC50 values of 27.7 and 30.6 μM, respectively. The substituent groups at C-3 and the carbonyl group at C-18 are important for the activity against the P. falciparum K1 stain.
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