Biorelevant physicochemical profiling of (E)- and (Z)-resveratrol determined from isomeric mixtures

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Biorelevant, isomer-specific physicochemical parameters of resveratrol, a multifunctional component in red wines, with cardioprotective, anti-Alzheimer and several other pharmacologic activities were determined. The parameters include site-specific basicities, lipophilicities, solubilities and diffusion constants for the two geometric isomers. The protonation equilibria of (E)- and (Z)-resveratrol were monitored by 1H NMR-pH titrations. Five closely related auxiliary compounds ((E)-pinostilbene, (Z)-pinostilbene, (E)-pterostilbene, (Z)-pterostilbene and resorcinol) were also studied. Combining the datasets, the group-specific protonation constants of resveratrol isomers were determined. The results show that (Z)-resveratrol is more basic at every protonation site than the (E)-isomer. Lipophilicities are quantified in terms of logP values and were determined by octanol/water partition experiments and quantitative NMR spectroscopy: (E)-resveratrol was found to be more lipophilic. Since the molecular geometries of the isomers differ, diffusion ordered NMR spectroscopy (DOSY) experiments were also carried out to quantify the diffusion capabilities of the isomers: (Z)-resveratrol of bent shape has a slightly higher diffusion coefficient than its extended (E) counterpart. A striking 10-fold difference of water solubility was found in favor of the (Z) isomer, due obviously to the reduced water-repellent character in the more compact molecule. This is so far the greatest recorded solubility difference between geometric isomers of any compounds.

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