Cell-based assays in combination with ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time of flight tandem mass spectrometry for screening bioactive capilliposide C metabolites generated by rat intestinal microflora

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Abstract

Many plant-derived glycosides are used as medications. It is common that these glycosides show poor intestinal absorption but their metabolites generated by intestinal microflora demonstrate strong bioactivity. Hence, it is crucial to develop a method for the identification and characterization of the metabolites, and consequently reveal the pathway in which the glycosides are processed in gut. In this study, cell-based assays in combination with ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time of flight tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QTOF-MS/MS) were developed for rapid discovery and evaluation of the metabolites of a glycoside compound, capilliposide C (LC-C). 92.7% of LC-C was biotransformed by rat intestinal microflora after 36-h incubation at 37 °C. Human cancer cell lines HepG2, PC-3 and A549 was treated with metabolites pool, respectively, which was followed by cell viability assays and characterization of metabolites using UHPLC-QTOF-MS/MS. As a result, significant cytotoxicity was observed for the metabolites pool, from which six metabolites were identified. Based on the metabolites identified, deglycosylation and esterolysis were proposed as the major metabolic pathways of LC-C in rat intestinal microflora. In addition, M4, an esterolysis product of LC-C, was obtained and evaluated for its bioactivity in vitro. As a result, M4 exhibited a reduction in cell viability in HepG2 with an IC50 value of 17.46 ± 1.55 μg/mL.

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