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

8-O-acetylharpagide is a nonsteroidal ecdysteroid agonist.

We have identified a novel nonsteroidal ecdysteroid agonist. This compound was isolated from a methanol extract of Ajuga reptans L. (Lamiaceae) and the structure was identified by spectroscopic methods as 8-O-acetylharpagide. We have characterised this compound as an ecdysteroid agonist in a transactivation assay using beta-galactosidase as the reporter gene regulated by ecdysteroid response elements. In this assay, 8-O-acetylharpagide has an EC50 of 22 microM. The compound also competes with tritiated-ponasterone A for binding to the Drosophila ecdysteroid receptor. Finally, it induces differentiation of Drosophila Kc cells as would be expected of an ecdysteroid agonist. This iridoid glycoside is common to several plant species and may play a role in the natural defense mechanisms of plants.[1]


  1. 8-O-acetylharpagide is a nonsteroidal ecdysteroid agonist. Elbrecht, A., Chen, Y., Jurgens, T., Hensens, O.D., Zink, D.L., Beck, H.T., Balick, M.J., Borris, R. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. (1996) [Pubmed]
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