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Environmentally Friendly Procedure Based on Supercritical Fluid Chromatography and Tandem Mass Spectrometry Molecular Networking for the Discovery of Potent Antiviral Compounds from Euphorbia semiperfoliata

Nothias, Louis-Félix, Boutet-Mercey, Stéphanie, Cachet, Xavier, De La Torre, Erick, Laboureur, Laurent, Gallard, Jean-François, Retailleau, Pascal, Brunelle, Alain, Dorrestein, Pieter C., Costa, Jean, Bedoya, Luis M., Roussi, Fanny, Leyssen, Pieter, Alcami, José, Paolini, Julien, Litaudon, Marc, Touboul, David
Journal of natural products 2017 v.80 no.10 pp. 2620-2629
Chikungunya virus, Euphorbia, Human immunodeficiency virus 1, X-ray diffraction, antiviral agents, antiviral properties, diterpenoids, esters, median effective concentration, plant extracts, secondary metabolites, solvents, supercritical fluid chromatography, tandem mass spectrometry, toxicity, virus replication, viruses
A supercritical fluid chromatography-based targeted purification procedure using tandem mass spectrometry and molecular networking was developed to analyze, annotate, and isolate secondary metabolites from complex plant extract mixture. This approach was applied for the targeted isolation of new antiviral diterpene esters from Euphorbia semiperfoliata whole plant extract. The analysis of bioactive fractions revealed that unknown diterpene esters, including jatrophane esters and phorbol esters, were present in the samples. The purification procedure using semipreparative supercritical fluid chromatography led to the isolation and identification of two new jatrophane esters (13 and 14) and one known (15) and three new 4-deoxyphorbol esters (16–18). The structure and absolute configuration of compound 16 were confirmed by X-ray crystallography. This compound was found to display antiviral activity against Chikungunya virus (EC₅₀ = 0.45 μM), while compound 15 proved to be a potent and selective inhibitor of HIV-1 replication in a recombinant virus assay (EC₅₀ = 13 nM). This study showed that a supercritical fluid chromatography-based protocol and molecular networking can facilitate and accelerate the discovery of bioactive small molecules by targeting molecules of interest, while minimizing the use of toxic solvents.