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Molecules 2013, 18(4), 4267-4281; doi:10.3390/molecules18044267

Metabolomic Analysis of Methyl Jasmonate-Induced Triterpenoid Production in the Medicinal Herb Centella asiatica (L.) Urban

1,†, 1,†, 1,2 and 1,*
1 Department of Biochemistry, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park 2006, South Africa 2 Drug Discovery Division, BioSciences, CSIR, Pretoria 0001, South Africa These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 January 2013 / Revised: 3 April 2013 / Accepted: 3 April 2013 / Published: 11 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Triterpenes and Triterpenoids)
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Centella asiatica is an important source of biologically active pentacyclic triterpenoids. The enhancement of the biosynthesis of the centellosides by manipulation of associated metabolic pathways is receiving much attention. Jasmonates play critical roles in plant metabolism by up-regulating the expression of genes related to secondary metabolites. Here, we investigated the effect of methyl jasmonate (MeJa) in C. asiatica through targeted metabolomic profiling of asiaticoside and madecassoside as well as their aglycones, asiatic acid and madecassic acid. Cell suspensions were treated with 0.2 mM MeJa for 2, 4 and 6 days. Liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was used to explore induced changes in metabolite profiles, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Principal component analysis (PCA)-derived scores plots revealed clusters of sample replicates for control and treated samples at 2, 4 and 6 days while loading plots aided in identifying signatory biomarkers (asiatic acid and madecassic acid, as well as asiaticoside and madecassoside) that clearly demonstrate the variability between samples. In addition to increased biosynthesis of the targeted centelloids, other differential changes in the intracellular metabolite profiles reflected the response of the C. asiatica cells to the MeJa-treatment as a reprogramming of the metabolome.
Keywords: Centella asiatica; centelloids; triterpenoids; metabolic profiling; metabolomics; LC-MS Centella asiatica; centelloids; triterpenoids; metabolic profiling; metabolomics; LC-MS
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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James, J.T.; Tugizimana, F.; Steenkamp, P.A.; Dubery, I.A. Metabolomic Analysis of Methyl Jasmonate-Induced Triterpenoid Production in the Medicinal Herb Centella asiatica (L.) Urban. Molecules 2013, 18, 4267-4281.

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