Two uleine alkaloids were isolated from the trunk bark of Winchia calophylla which exhibited anticancer activity. Their potential applications in clinical experiments necessitate the development of a new method for the analysis of uleine alkaloids.
In order to establish a reliable, fast and low-cost analysis method, researchers in Prof. Wu Zhijun lab at the Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences investigated their structural characteristic using electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS) method. Dr. Wu and his colleagues revealed fragmentation rules of uleine alkaloids and found that a Retro Diels Alder (RDA) reaction played a significant role in their skeletal fragmentation. The corresponding information can be used for the rapid analysis of uleine alkaloids in complex mixtures from plant extract.
The method is a rapid and new analysis method for the identification of uleine alkaloids in complex matrices and also provides a new way for their total synthesis.This research entitled “Electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry of uleine alkaloids” was published in Rapid Commun.Mass Spectrom. on September 19, 2012.
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