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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Antioxidant activity of hydroxystilbene derivatives in homogeneous solution.

The antioxidant activity of the cis and trans isomers of several analogues of resveratrol and pterostilbene has been investigated, especially with regard to the effect of the stereochemistry about the olefinic double bond. The antioxidant power of these compounds was estimated by measuring the rate constants for their reactions with peroxyl radicals and, with two of them, the bond dissociation enthalpy (BDE) of the phenolic O-H bond which is cleaved in the inhibition reaction. The present data show that in homogeneous solution the various hydroxystilbenes investigated behave as mild antioxidants with the notable exceptions of the trans isomer of 4 and 6, whose activities are only slightly lower than that of alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E). The rate constants of the inhibition reaction show that the antioxidant activity of the cis-hydroxystilbene is in all the examined cases worse, by a factor ranging between 2 and 6, than that of the corresponding trans isomers. This lower reactivity depends on enthalpy factors as it can be inferred by the experimental values of the O-H bond dissociation enthalpy in the two geometric isomers of 3',5'-di-tert-butyl-4'-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxystilbene showing that the strength of the O-H bond in the cis isomer is larger by 1.8 kcal/ mol. DFT calculations provide a rationalization of this result, indicating that, although the cis geometry implies a destabilization with respect to the trans species of both phenoxyl radical and parent hydroxystilbene, the destabilization of the radical is larger because the folding of the structure strongly reduces the delocalization of the unpaired electron on the styryl group. A comparison of these results with previously reported data on the proapoptotic activity of these stilbenoids suggests that these two properties are not correlated.[1]


  1. Antioxidant activity of hydroxystilbene derivatives in homogeneous solution. Amorati, R., Lucarini, M., Mugnaini, V., Pedulli, G.F., Roberti, M., Pizzirani, D. J. Org. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
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