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Application of metabolomics and molecular networking in investigating the chemical profile and antitrypanosomal activity of British bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)

Raheem, Dotsha J. and Tawfike, Ahmed F. and Abdelmohsen, Usama R. and Edrada-Ebel, RuAngelie and Fitzsimmons-Thoss, Vera (2019) Application of metabolomics and molecular networking in investigating the chemical profile and antitrypanosomal activity of British bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta). Scientific Reports, 9. ISSN 2045-2322

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    Bulb, leaf, scape and flower samples of British bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) were collected regularly for one growth period. Methanolic extracts of freeze-dried and ground samples showed antitrypanosomal activity, giving more than 50% inhibition, for 20 out of 41 samples. High-resolution mass spectrometry was used in the dereplication of the methanolic extracts of the different plant parts. The results revealed differences in the chemical profile with bulb samples being distinctly different from all aerial parts. High molecular weight metabolites were more abundant in the flowers, shoots and leaves compared to smaller molecular weight ones in the bulbs. The anti-trypanosomal activity of the extracts was linked to the accumulation of high molecular weight compounds, which were matched with saponin glycosides, while triterpenoids and steroids occurred in the inactive extracts. Dereplication studies were employed to identify the significant metabolites via chemotaxonomic filtration and considering their previously reported bioactivities. Molecular networking was implemented to look for similarities in fragmentation patterns between the isolated saponin glycoside at m/z 1445.64 [M + formic-H]- equivalent to C64H104O33 and the putatively found active metabolite at m/z 1283.58 [M + formic-H]- corresponding to scillanoside L-1. A combination of metabolomics and bioactivity-guided approaches resulted in the isolation of a norlanostane-type saponin glycoside with antitrypanosomal activity of 98.9% inhibition at 20 µM.