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Open AccessArticle

Helleborus purpurascens—Amino Acid and Peptide Analysis Linked to the Chemical and Antiproliferative Properties of the Extracted Compounds

1
National Institute for Research and Development in Electrochemistry and Condensed Matter—INCEMC, Timisoara 300224, Romania
2
University Politehnica Timisoara, 2 Piata Victoriei, Timisoara 300006, Romania
3
University “Eftimie Murgu”, Resita, 1-4 Traian Vuia, Resita 320085, Romania
4
Department of Morphological Sciences, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila”, 8 Eroilor Sanitari Blvd, Sector 5, Bucharest 050474, Romania
5
“Victor Babes” National Institute of Pathology, 99-101, Splaiul Independentei, Sector 5, Bucharest 050096, Romania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Isabel C. F. R. Ferreira
Molecules 2015, 20(12), 22170-22187; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules201219819
Received: 1 October 2015 / Revised: 27 November 2015 / Accepted: 27 November 2015 / Published: 11 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
There is a strong drive worldwide to discover and exploit the therapeutic potential of a large variety of plants. In this work, an alcoholic extract of Helleborus purpurascens (family Ranunculaceae) was investigated for the identification of amino acids and peptides with putative antiproliferative effects. In our work, a separation strategy was developed using solvents of different polarity in order to obtain active compounds. Biochemical components were characterized through spectroscopic (mass spectroscopy) and chromatographic techniques (RP-HPLC and GC-MS). The biological activity of the obtained fractions was investigated in terms of their antiproliferative effects on HeLa cells. Through this study, we report an efficient separation of bioactive compounds (amino acids and peptides) from a plant extract dependent on solvent polarity, affording fractions with unaffected antiproliferative activities. Moreover, the two biologically tested fractions exerted a major antiproliferative effect, thereby suggesting potential anticancer therapeutic activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: antiproliferative activiy; chromatographic techniques; hellebore; thionins; mass spectroscopy antiproliferative activiy; chromatographic techniques; hellebore; thionins; mass spectroscopy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Segneanu, A.-E.; Grozescu, I.; Cziple, F.; Berki, D.; Damian, D.; Niculite, C.M.; Florea, A.; Leabu, M. Helleborus purpurascens—Amino Acid and Peptide Analysis Linked to the Chemical and Antiproliferative Properties of the Extracted Compounds. Molecules 2015, 20, 22170-22187.

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