Isolation and purification of inflacoumarin A and licochalcone A from licorice by high-speed counter-current chromatography
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High-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC) technique in semi-preparative scale has been applied to isolate and purify bioactive flavone compounds from the ethanol extract of Glycyrrhiza inflata Bat., a particular plant species of licorice. HSCCC separation was performed with a two-phase solvent system composed of n-hexane-chloroform-methanol-water (5:6:3:2, v/v) by eluting the lower mobile phase at a flow rate of 1.8 ml/min and a revolution speed of 800 rpm. Purification was performed with a two-phase solvent system composed of n-hexane-chlorofonn-methanol-water (1.5:6:3:2, v/v) by eluting the lower mobile phase at a flow-rate of 1.5 ml/min and a revolution speed of 800 rpm. Two major flavone peaks: inflacoumarin A and licochalcone A were collected and the respective yields of the peaks amount to 6 mg (8.6%, w/w) and 8 mg (11.4%, w/w) from 70 mg of the crude extract sample. The purities of inflacoumarin A and licochalcone A reached 99.6% and 99.1%, respectively, after a sequential purification run. The structures of inflacoumarin A and licochalcone A were positively confirmed by H-1 NMR and C-13 NMR, H-1-C-13-COSY, UV, FR-IR and electron ionization MS analyses. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.