A new xanthone, 3,4-dihydro-8,10,12-trihydroxy-2,2-dimethylpyrano[2,3-b]xanthen-11(2H)-one or butyraxanthone E (1), along with the known compounds 30-epi-cambogin (2), 1,7-dihydroxyxanthone (3) and 1,5-dihydroxyxanthone (4) were isolated from the roots of Pentadesma butyracea. Their structures were elucidated by spectroscopic means and comparison with published data. Their antiproliferative activities were evaluated against Drosophila S2 cells and two human cancer cell lines, THP-1 (leukemia) and HCT116 (colon cancer). Compounds 1 and 2 showed moderate antiproliferative activity against Drosophila S2 cells and the HCT116 cell line, respectively. Compound 2 was active against Drosophila S2 cells.
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