IUPAC Name : (E)-1-(2,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-one
Chemistry : Butein (C15H12O5), a yellow color pigment, is a chalcone derivative also known as 2’,3,4,4’-tetrahydroxychalcone. Its molecular weight is measured to 272.25 g/mol and melting point is recorded to 216 °C. It is insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents such as methanol, ethanol, DMSO, and dimethyl formamide. It has been synthesized by Claisen-Schmidt aldol condensation of the ketone with the aldehyde in the presence of KOH in MeOH.
Occurrence : This compound is widely occurred in nature mainly in the plants of Fabaceae, Asteraceae and Anacardiaceae families; selected examples of its source are Dahlia variabilis Desf., Butea frondosa Roxb. and Searsia verniciflua Stokes Syn.
Biological importance : Butein is a dietary polyphenol that acts as a specific protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor, thereby preventing phosphorylation and affording protection against some cancers and inflammatory diseases. It has promising chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic potential. It has been considered as a popular ingredient of various herbal drug formulations and is widely used as a neutraceutical, particularly in Asian countries. It has antioxidative, aldose reductase and advanced glycation end products inhibitory effects. It is also a sirtuin-activating compound, a chemical compound having an effect on sirtuins, a group of enzymes that use NAD+ to remove acetyl groups from proteins. Interestingly, this molecule exhibited anticancer activity against almost all cancer cell lines such as breast, colon, leukaemia, skin, eye, prostate, liver and lung in addition to positive role against neuroendocrine cancer.