Coumarin derivative 1, 5,7-dihydroxy-6-(3-methyl-1-butyryl)-4-phenylchromen- 2-one, has been reported to possess radical scavenging activity and DNA protection. We have synthesized a series of coumarins with structural modifications at positions C4, C5, C6 and C7 and evaluated them for their anti-UVC properties Coumarin 7, 6-benzoyl-5,6-dihydroxy-4-phenyl-chromen-2-one, was found to have the most potent activity in protecting porcine γ-crystallin against UVC insults. Results of fluorescence assays indicated that compound 7 was capable of decreasing the loss of intensity while lens crystallins and DNA PUC19 were irradiated with UVC. Presence of compound 7 decreased hydroxyl radical levels determined by probe 1b and the free iron concentrations determined by Ferrozine reagent. The chelation assay showed that compound 7 was chelated to metal via 6-CO and 5-OH on the benzopyrone ring. Theobserved protective effects of compound 7 towards crystallins from insults of UVC and free radicals may be due to its iron-chelating activity and its peak absorption at 254 nm.
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