Document Type: Research article
Department of Chemistry, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Phytochemistry, Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University,Tehran, Iran.
Department of Phytochemistry, Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University,Tehran, Iran
There is no other naturally occurring defense agent against cancer that has a stronger effect
than paclitaxel, commonly known under the brand name of Taxol®. The major drawback for the
more widespread use of paclitaxel and its precious precursor, 10-deacetylbaccatin III (10-DAB
III), is that they require large-scale extraction from different parts of yew trees (Taxus species),
cell cultures, taxane-producing endophytic fungi, and Corylus species. In our previous work,
a novel online two-dimensional heart-cut liquid chromatography process using hydrophilic
interaction/ reversed-phase chromatography was used to introduce a semi-preparative
treatment for the separation of polar (10-deacetylbaccatin III) and non-polar (paclitaxel)
taxanes from Taxus baccata L. In this work, a combination of the absorbent (Diaion® HP-
20) and a silica based solid phase extraction is utilized as a new, efficient, and cost effective
method for large-scale production of taxanes. This process avoids the technical problem of
two-dimensional preparative liquid chromatography. The first stage of the process involves
discarding co-extractive polar compounds including chlorophylls and pigments using a nonpolar
synthetic hydrophobic absorbent, Diaion® HP-20. Extract was then loaded on to a silica
based hydrophilic interaction solid phase extraction (silica 40-60 micron). Taxanes was eluted
using a mixture of water and methanol at the optimized ratio of 70:30. Finally, the fraction
containing taxanes was applied to semi-preparative reversed phase HPLC. The results revealed
that using this procedure, paclitaxel and 10-DAB III could be obtained at 8 and 3 times more,
respectively than by the traditional method of extraction.