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J Nat Med. 2011 Jul;65(3-4):646-50. doi: 10.1007/s11418-011-0539-5. Epub 2011 May 5.

Glycyrrhiza glabra (Linn.) and Lavandula officinalis (L.) cell suspension cultures-based biotransformation of β-artemether.

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Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow, 226015, India.


The biotransformation of β-artemether (1) by cell suspension cultures of Glycyrrhiza glabra and Lavandula officinalis is reported here for the first time. The major biotransformed product appeared as a grayish-blue color spot on thin-layer chromatography (TLC) with transparent crystal-like texture. Based on its infrared (IR) and (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra, the product was characterized as a tetrahydrofuran (THF)-acetate derivative (2). The highest conversion efficiencies of 57 and 60% were obtained when 8-9-day-old cell suspensions of G. glabra and L. officinalis were respectively fed with 4-7 mg of compound 1 in 40 ml of medium per culture and the cells were harvested after 2-5 days of incubation. The addition of compound 1 at the beginning of the culture cycle caused severe growth depression in a dose-dependent manner, resulting in poor bioconversion efficiency of ~25% at 2-5 mg/culture dose only.

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