Extraction and isolation of antineoplastic pristimerin from Mortonia greggii (Celastraceae) uri icon


  • The aim of this research was to identify, extract and isolate pristimerin in leaves, stems and roots of the Mexican plant Mortonia greggii (Celastraceae). The principal objective was to determine the best laboratory experimental conditions for the extraction and isolation of this powerful natural anticancer agent from the root tissue. Six experimental factors in solid-liquid pristimerin extraction were analyzed: solvent systems, number of extractions, ratio of plant weight (g)/solvent volume (mL) used, time of extraction, temperature and agitation. A mathematical model was generated for pristimerin purity and yield. Ethanol, first extraction, 0.5 ratio of plant weight/solvent volume (g/mL), 0.5 h, 200 rpm and 49.7°C were optimal conditions for the extraction of this phytochemical. The degree of purification of pristimerin root extract was studied by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) using Sephadex LH-20 reaching fractions with purification indexes (PI) greater than 2 and recoveries of 28.3%. When fractions with purification indices higher than 1 and less than 2 were accumulated, the recovery of pristimerin increased by about 73.6%. By combining the optimum extracts and SEC purification protocols, an enriched fraction containing 245.6 mg pristimerin was obtained from 100 g of root bark, representing about 14.4%, w/w, pristimerin from the total solids presented in the fraction.

Publication date

  • January 1, 2015