Metabolomic profiling of antiviral Scaevola spinescens extracts by high resolution tandem mass spectrometry

I.E. Cock, B. Matthews
Non-targeted HPLC separation of crude extracts coupled to high resolution quadrapole time-of-flight (Q-TOF) mass spectrometry is a powerful tool for the identification and characterisation of individual components in crude plant extracts. This technique allows for metabolite fingerprinting studies between extracts to compare their overall metabolic compositions and identify possible lead compounds. Scaevola spinescens is an endemic Australian plant with a history of therapeutic use by Australian Aborigines as an anti-infective and anti-cancer medicine. The medicinal bioactivities of this plant are poorly studied. We previously examined the antiviral activity of S. spinescens extracts using an MS2 bacteriophage plaque reduction model system and reported that all extracts displayed potent antiviral activity. The methanolic, water, ethyl acetate, chloroform, and hexane extracts inhibited 95.2±1.8, 72.3±6.3, 82.6±4.5, 100±0 and 47.7±12.9% of plaque formation, respectively. All extracts were also non-toxic in the A. fransiscana bioassay, indicating their potential as medicines for the control of RNA viruses. HPLC-MS/MS Q-TOF analysis identified 239 unique mass signals in the extracts. The molecular masses and putative empirical formulae are reported here to enable comparisons between highly active and less active extracts. Furthermore, the putative identities of several compounds are reported. Thus, metabolomic profiling has allowed for rapid differentiation of compound profiles between active and less active extracts. This is expected to assist in the identification of the most important compounds for further separation and bioactivity studies.
Cock, I.E. and Matthews, B. (2016). Metabolomic profiling of antiviral Scaevola spinescens extracts by high resolution tandem mass spectrometry. Acta Hortic. 1125, 1-18
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1125.1
maroon bush, prickly fan flower, antiviral activity, MS2 bacteriophage, metabolomic profile, LC-MS/MS

Acta Horticulturae