Tricyclic Sesquiterpenes From Vetiveria zizanoides (L.) Nash as Antimycobacterial Agents



Two bioactive constituents, khusenic acid (1) and khusimol (2), were isolated and characterized from hexane fraction of Vetiveria zizanoides roots. Compounds, 1 and 2, were tested against the various drug-resistant mutants of Mycobacterium smegmatis. The results showed that compound 1 was 4 times more active than the standard drugs ciprofloxacin (CF) and nalidixic acid (NA) against the ciprofloxacin (CSC 101) and lomefloxacin(LOMR5)-resistant mutants, whereas the compound 2 was 2 times more active against the CSC 101 than the NA and CF. Further, these compounds were tested against the virulent strain H37Rv of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which showed that 1 was two times more active than NA, while 2 was equally active to NA. In in silico docking study, 1 showed better binding affinity than 2 with both subunits of the bacterial DNA gyrase, which was further confirmed from the in vitro bacterial DNA gyrase inhibition study. The in silico ADME analysis of 1 and 2 showed better intestinal absorption, aqueous solubility and ability to penetrate blood–brain barrier. Finally, compound 2 was found safe at the highest dose of 2000 mg/kg body weight. Being edible, fragrant natural products, 1 and 2 will have advantage over the existing synthetic drugs.