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Profiling and elucidation of the phenolic compounds in the aerial parts of Gynura bicolor and G. divaricata collected from different Chinese origins

  • Chen, Jian
  • Mangelinckx, Sven
  • Lu, Han
  • Wang, Zheng-Tao
  • Li, Wei-Lin
  • De Kimpe, Norbert
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2015
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Gynura bicolor and G. divaricata are not only known to be nutritive as cultured vegetables, but also beneficial as folk medicines in East Asia. As demonstrated by the current phytochemical knowledge, the genus Gynura is a promising source of phenolics with multiple medicinal activities. To expand this phytochemical knowledge, the phenolic secondary metabolites of G. bicolor and G. divaricata were studied. From the aerial parts of these two species, collected in five different Chinese locations, two fractions of phenolic compounds with different polarity were obtained by extraction and chromatographic separation. Using UPLC/MS/MS analysis, a total of 53 phenolics were either identified by comparison with respective reference compounds or tentatively characterized by their chromatographic behavior, UV-absorption patterns, and MS fragmentations. Some naturally existing positional isomers of O-caffeoylquinic acid, O-p-coumaroylquinic acid, O-feruloylquinic acid, and dicaffeoylquinic acid as well as their methyl esters were qualitatively characterized by their specific fragmentation patterns in targeted MS/MS. In addition, the aerial parts of the two Gynura species contained kaempferol, quercetin oligoglycosides, and a variety of derivatives of benzoic acid, hydroxycinnamic acid, and caffeic acid. Furthermore, the distribution of phenolic compounds in the two species from different Chinese origins was discussed. Finally, an investigation of the total phenolic content and in vitro antioxidant activity of the various phenolic fractions was completed, to evaluate the potential of the extracts of these species for medicinal development. The free-radical-scavenging activities of the extracts derived from plants originating from Nanjing were proven to be higher than those of the other extracts, which correlated well with their total phenolic content.

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