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Pharmacogn Mag. 2010 Jan;6(21):34-41. doi: 10.4103/0973-1296.59964. Epub 2010 Feb 13.

Investigation of the possible biological activities of a poisonous South African plant; Hyaenanche globosa (Euphorbiaceae).

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1
Department of Plant Science, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.

Abstract

The present study was undertaken to explore the possible biochemical activities of Hyaenanche globosa Lamb. and its compounds. Two different extracts (ethanol and dichloromethane) of four different parts (leaves, root, stem, and fruits) of H. globosa were evaluated for their possible antibacterial, antityrosinase, and anticancer (cytotoxicity) properties. Two pure compounds were isolated using column chromatographic techniques. Active extracts and pure compounds were investigated for their antioxidant effect on cultured 'Hela cells'. Antioxidant/oxidative properties of the ethanolic extract of the fruits of H. globosa and purified compounds were investigated using reactive oxygen species (ROS), ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), and lipid peroxidation thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) assays. The ethanolic extract of the leaves and fruits of H. globosa showed the best activity, exhibiting a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 3.1 mg/ ml and a minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of 1.56 and 6.2 mg/ml, respectively, against M. smegmatis. The ethanolic extract of the fruits of H. globosa (F.E) showed the highest percentage of inhibitory activity of monophenolase (90.4% at 200 mug/ml). In addition, F.E exhibited 50% inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) of 37.7 mug/ml on the viability of 'HeLa cells' using cytotoxicity MTT assay. Subsequently, F.E was fractionated using phase-partitioning with n-hexane, ethyl acetate, and n-butanol. The cytotoxicity of these fractions were determined in vitro using different cancer cell lines. The n-hexane fraction exhibited the highest activity of toxicity. Therefore, this fraction was subjected to further separation by chromatographic methods. Two pure compounds known as: 'Tutin' and 'hyenanchin' were isolated and their structures were determined by NMR spectroscopic methods. Unpredictably, none of them showed significant (P < 0.01) inhibition on cell viability/proliferation at the concentrations that were used. F.E showed significant anti-tyrosinase, antibacterial, and cytotoxicity effects, therefore it can be considered as an effective inhibitor alone or in combination with other plant extracts.

KEYWORDS:

Hyenanche globosa; antibacterial assay; antioxidant assay; cytotoxicity; hyenanchin; reactive oxygen species; tutin

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