Synthesis of five known brassinosteroid analogs from hyodeoxycholic acid and their activities as plant-growth regulators
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Brassinosteroids (BRs) are plant hormones that promote growth in different plant organs and tissues. The structural requirements that these compounds should possess to exhibit this biological activity have been studied. In this work, a series of known BR analogs 5-15, were synthesized starting from hyodeoxycholic acid 4, and maintaining the alkyl side chain as cholic acid or its methyl ester. The growth-promoting effects of brassinolide (1) and synthesized analogs were evaluated by using the rice lamina inclination assay at concentrations ranging from 1 x 10(-8)-1 x 10(-6) M. Our results indicate that in this concentration range the induced bending angle of rice seedlings increases with increasing concentration of BRs. Analysis of the activities, determined at the lowest tested concentration, in terms of BR structures shows that the 2 alpha,3 alpha-dihydroxy-7-oxa-6-ketone moiety existing in brassinolide is required for the plant growing activity of these compounds, as it has been proposed by some structure-activity relationship studies. The effect of compound 8 on cell elongation was assessed by microscopy analysis, and the results indicate that the growth-promoting effect of analog 8 is mainly due to cell elongation of the adaxial sides, instead of an increase on cell number.