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Simultaneous isolation of artemisinin and its precursors from Artemisia annua L. by preparative RP-HPLC

Authors

  • Na Tian,

    1. Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory for Germplasm Innovation and Utilization of Crop, Natural Products Research Center, College of Horticulture and Hardening, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, China
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    • The first two authors have contributed equally.

  • Juan Li,

    1. Key Laboratory of Tea Science, Ministry of Education, Changsha, China
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    • The first two authors have contributed equally.

  • Shuoqian Liu,

    Corresponding author
    • Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory for Germplasm Innovation and Utilization of Crop, Natural Products Research Center, College of Horticulture and Hardening, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, China
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  • Jianan Huang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Tea Science, Ministry of Education, Changsha, China
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  • Xun Li,

    1. Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory for Germplasm Innovation and Utilization of Crop, Natural Products Research Center, College of Horticulture and Hardening, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, China
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  • Zhonghua Liu

    Corresponding author
    • Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory for Germplasm Innovation and Utilization of Crop, Natural Products Research Center, College of Horticulture and Hardening, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, China
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Shuoqian Liu, Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory for Germplasm Innovation and Utilization of Crop, Natural Products Research Center, College of Horticulture and Hardening, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, 410128, China. Email: shuoqianliu@yahoo.com

Zhonghua Liu, Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory for Germplasm Innovation and Utilization of Crop, Natural Products Research Center, College of Horticulture and Hardening, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, 410128, China. E-mail: larkin-liu@163.com

ABSTRACT

It is still a major challenge to simultaneously isolate artemisinin and its precursors, especially dihydroartemisinic acid and artemisinic acid, from herbal Artemisia annua. A rapid, economical and automatical chromatographic separation process to isolate and purify artemisinin, dihydroartemisinic acid and artemisinic acid at the same time on a preparative scale was developed. The procedure included solvent extraction of ground Artemisia annua leaves by refluxing and purification of crude extract by preparative reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). Fractions containing artemisinin and its precursors were collected and identified by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. High purity of artemisinin, dihydroartemisinic acid and artemisinic acid was obtained by preparative HPLC with a C18 column and 60% acetonitrile in water as the mobile phase. The techniques described here are useful tools for the preparative-scale isolation of artemisinin and its precursors in a fast, cost-effective and environmental friendly manner. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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