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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Chemical Biology of Insect and Plant Signaling Systems

Location: Chemistry Research

Title: First ever isolation of cytotoxic triterpenoid 2-hydroxydiplopterol from plant source

item Tanveer, Muhammad
item Ur-rehman, Habib
item Sims, James
item Choudhary, Muhammad
item Hamann, Mark

Submitted to: Journal of Medicinal Plants Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/16/2013
Publication Date: 7/17/2013
Publication URL:
Citation: Tanveer, M., Ur-Rehman, H., Sims, J.W., Choudhary, M.I., Hamann, M.T. 2013. First ever isolation of cytotoxic triterpenoid 2-hydroxydiplopterol from plant source. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research. 7(27):2040-2042.

Interpretive Summary: Arisaema jacquemontii, known as Sap-ki-booti in Pakistan and Kashmir, is a traditional medicinal plant for a multitude of illnesses. Extracts of this plant were tested for cytotoxic activity. Scientists at the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, Florida, in collaboration with scientists from the Department of Pharmacognosy at the University of Mississippi and Pakistan have identified a triterpenoid 2-hydroxydiplopterol previously unique to fungi in this plant. The compound was identified by comparison of mass spectral and NMR data of the isolated plant metabolite and the previously described fungal metabolite. Cytotoxicity was determined by the sulforhodamine method and showed and IC50 of 22µM against K 562 cell lines. This suggests that while there is some potential for this molecule as a potential cancer chemotherapeutic, the application is limited. This data shows that there are molecules shared by distinct forms of life and that the exploration of new activities for known molecules is useful in finding useful roles for these compounds.

Technical Abstract: Arisaema jacquemontii have shown medicinal importance and biological activities particularly, its anticancer activity, so we have decided to keep on investigating the plant in term of its chemical constituents. A chemical investigation on the chloroform extract of A. jacquemontii have resulted in the isolation of a cytotoxic, triterpenoid 2-hydroxydiplopterol (1), previously reported from the halotolerant, fungal strain aspergillus variecolor B-17. This represents perhaps the first report of cytotoxic compound from plant source. The compound (1) has been identified by multidimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and comparison of its spectroscopic data with that reported for the compound. Its exhibited cytotoxicity with IC50 value of 22 µM against K 562 cell lines. The cytotoxicity properties of compound 1 were determined by the sulforhodamine B method.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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