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PLoS One. 2011 Feb 17;6(2):e14694. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014694.

Zebrafish bioassay-guided natural product discovery: isolation of angiogenesis inhibitors from East African medicinal plants.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. alexander.crawford@pharm.kuleuven.be

Abstract

Natural products represent a significant reservoir of unexplored chemical diversity for early-stage drug discovery. The identification of lead compounds of natural origin would benefit from therapeutically relevant bioassays capable of facilitating the isolation of bioactive molecules from multi-constituent extracts. Towards this end, we developed an in vivo bioassay-guided isolation approach for natural product discovery that combines bioactivity screening in zebrafish embryos with rapid fractionation by analytical thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and initial structural elucidation by high-resolution electrospray mass spectrometry (HRESIMS). Bioactivity screening of East African medicinal plant extracts using fli-1:EGFP transgenic zebrafish embryos identified Oxygonum sinuatum and Plectranthus barbatus as inhibiting vascular development. Zebrafish bioassay-guided fractionation identified the active components of these plants as emodin, an inhibitor of the protein kinase CK2, and coleon A lactone, a rare abietane diterpenoid with no previously described bioactivity. Both emodin and coleon A lactone inhibited mammalian endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and tube formation in vitro, as well as angiogenesis in the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay. These results suggest that the combination of zebrafish bioassays with analytical chromatography methods is an effective strategy for the rapid identification of bioactive natural products.

PMID:
21379387
PMCID:
PMC3040759
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0014694
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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