Clausena indica fruits are routinely used for the culinary purpose as natural spices, whereas leaves and roots are folk medicine with various health benefits in southern China, South and Southeast Asia. In this study, the bioassay-guided fractionation by column chromatography yielded three pure compounds including dentatin, nordentatin, and clausine K and five active fractions (Re1-5) from C. indica roots. These known anticancer compounds were confirmed by X-ray diffraction, 1H-, 13C-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometric (ESI-MS-MS) analyses. Meanwhile, the phytochemical constituents from fractions were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The isolates, fractions’ components and their biological activities were first time investigated on C. indica. By in vitro DPPH and ABTS scavenging assays, nordentatin (IC50 = 49.2 and 69.9 µg/mL, respectively) and the fraction Re4 (32.4 and 38.5 µg/mL, respectively) showed the strongest antiradical activities, whereas clausine K presented a moderate and dentatin had negligible antioxidant activity, respectively. The anti-α-amylase activity of C. indica root extracts was mainly attributed to the fraction Re2 which inactivated the enzymatic assay with IC50 of 573.8 µg/mL. Among tested samples, only nordentatin and clausine K were effective in the pancreatic elastase inhibition, however, their influences were trivial. Markedly, clausine K and Re4 performed the most remarkable tyrosinase inhibition with IC50 values of 179.5 and 243.8 µg/mL, respectively, which were in turn 4 and 3 times stronger than myricetin (IC50 = 735.6 µg/mL), a well-known tyrosinase inhibitor. This is the first report affirming clausine K to be a new strong tyrosinase inhibitor. Isolated compounds from C. indica roots were quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), of which, dentatin, nordentatin, and clausine K accounted for 14.74, 6.14, and 1.28 mg/g dry weight. The findings suggest that bioactive constituents from C. indica roots may be potentially employed for the development of antidiabetic, antiaging and cosmetic agents.
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