Artocarpin is an isoprenyl flavone from Artocarpus species (Moraceae).
Trees of the genus comprise about 50 species, and are native to tropical
and subtropical Asia. First isolated from the root of A. heterophyllus (jackfruit),
artocarpin has been reported in other Artocarpus species such as A.
altilis, A. chempeden, A. kemando and A. maingayi. Recently, artocarpin
has also been isolated from A. incisus, A. chama, A. lowii, A. anisophyllus,
A. scortechinii, A. odoratissimus and A. hirsutus. It has a molecular formula
of C26H28O6 and a 5,7,2,4-tetrahydroxylated structure with three benzene
rings. Ring B has a 2,4-resorcinol moiety and there is a methoxy group at
C-7 of ring A. At C-3 and C-6 of artocarpin are the isoprenyl substituents.
Some data on the content of artocarpin in extracts and fractions of different
solvents and species of Artocarpus have been presented. Other flavones
prenylated at C-3 and C-6 include artelasticin, artelastofuran, cudraflavone
C and norartocarpin. The inhibition of tyrosinase and melanogenesis are
two skin-whitening activities of artocarpin. It protects UVB-induced skin
damage. Besides its cosmeceutical activities of skin-whitening and photo
protection, artocarpin possesses other pharmacological properties such
as cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiandrogen,
antitubercular, antiplasmodial, neuraminidase inhibitory, termiticidal and
wound healing activities. In the conclusion, some research studies of interest
for the future have been proposed.
Key words: Artocarpus, Artocarpin, Isoprenyl flavone, Skin whitening,
Photo protective, Cytotoxic.