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Journal of natural products

Variability in content of the anti-AIDS drug candidate prostratin in Samoan populations of Homalanthus nutans.


PMID 19007283

Abstract

Homalanthus nutans, used by Samoan healers to treat hepatitis, produces the antiviral compound 12-deoxyphorbol 13-acetate, prostratin (1). Prostratin is being developed as an adjuvant therapy to clear latent viral reservoirs, the major obstacle to eradication of HIV-AIDS within the human body. A validated reversed-phase HPLC method was developed to assay concentrations of 1 in H. nutans. A survey of four distinct populations on two different Samoan islands revealed significant variability in content. The stem tissue (range 0.2-52.6 microg/g 1), used by healers in indigenous therapies,gave a higher median concentration of prostratin (3.5 microg/g) than root or leaf tissues (2.9 and 2.5 microg/g, respectively).The high variability and skewness of these data indicate that cultivar selection for drug production will be important for this species. The reversed-phase HPLC assay will allow plants to be selected for agricultural development and genetic analysis by identifying those individuals above and below a 95% confidence interval for the median concentration.

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