Two new Amaryllidaceae alkaloids, belonging to the mesembrine- and crinine-types, named crinsarnine (1) and sarniensinol (2), were isolated from the dried bulbs of Nerine sarniensis together with bowdensine (3), sarniensine (4), hippadine (5) and 1-O-acetyl-lycorine (6). Crinsarnine (1) and sarniensinol (2) were characterized using spectroscopic and chiroptical methods as (1S,2S,4aR,10bS)-2,7-dimethoxy-1,2,3,4,4a,6-hexahydro-5,11b-ethano[1,3]dioxolo-[4,5-j]phenanthridin-1-yl acetate and (6-(3aR,4Z,6S,7aS)-6-methoxy-1-methyl-2,3,3a,6,7,7a-hexa-hydro-1H-indol-3a-yl)benzo[d][1,3]dioxol-5-yl)methanol, respectively. Furthermore, the complete spectroscopic characterization of bowdensine (3) is reported for the first time. Compounds 1-6 were evaluated against the Orlando reference strain of Aedes aegypti. None of compounds showed mortality against 1st instar Ae. aegypti larvae at the concentrations tested. In adult topical bioassays, only 1 displayed adulticidal activity with an LD50 = 2.29 ± 0.049 μg/mosquito. As regards the structure-activity relationship, the pretazettine and crinine scaffold in 2 and 4 and in 1 and 3 respectively, proved to be important for their activity, while the pyrrole[de]phenanthridine scaffold present in 5 and 6 was important for their reactivity. Among the pretazettine group compounds, opening of the B ring or the presence of a B ring lactone as well as the trans-stereochemistry of the A/B ring junction, appears to be important for activity, while in crinine-type alkaloids, the substituent at C-2 seems to play a role in their activity.
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