Bioactivity of secoiridoid glycosides from Centaurium erythraea

Y Kumarasamy, L Nahar, P J Cox, M Jaspars, S D Sarker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

122 Citations (Scopus)


As part of our on-going search for bioactive compounds from Scottish plants, two secoiridoid glycosides, swertiamarin and sweroside, have been isolated from the aerial parts of Centautium erythraea Rath (Family: Gentianaceae) by reversed-phase preparative HPLC coupled with a photo-diode-array detector. The structures of these compounds were elucidated unambiguously by UV, FABMS and extensive 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopic analyses and also by comparing experimental data with literature data. Antibacterial, free radical scavenging activities and general toxicity of these glycosides have been assessed. Both compounds inhibited the growth of Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Citrobacter freundii and Escherichia coli. While swertiamarin was also active against Proteus mirabilis and Serratia marcescens, sweroside inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus epidermidis. Swertiamarin and sweroside exhibited significant general toxicity in brine shrimp lethality bioassay and the LD50 values were 8.0 mug/ml and 34 mug/ml, respectively, whereas that of the positive control podophyllotoxin, a well known cytotoxic lignan, was 2.79 mug/ml. Chemotaxonomic implications of these compounds in the family Gentianaceae have also been discussed briefly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-347
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Centaurium erythraea
  • Gentianaceae
  • sweroside
  • swertiamarin
  • antibacterial activity
  • brine shrimp toxicity
  • DPPH assay


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