Automated high-throughput system to fractionate plant natural products for drug discovery

Ying Tu, Cynthia Jeffries, Hong Ruan, Cynthia Nelson, David Smithson, Anang A. Shelat, Kristin M. Brown, Xing Cong Li, John P. Hester, Troy Smillie, Ikhlas A. Khan, Larry Walker, Kip Guy, Bing Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


The development of an automated, high-throughput fractionation procedure to prepare and analyze natural product libraries for drug discovery screening is described. Natural products obtained from plant materials worldwide were extracted and first prefractionated on polyamide solid-phase extraction cartridges to remove polyphenols, followed by high-throughput automated fractionation, drying, weighing, and reformatting for screening and storage. The analysis of fractions with UPLC coupled with MS, PDA, and ELSD detectors provides information that facilitates characterization of compounds in active fractions. Screening of a portion of fractions yielded multiple assay-specific hits in several high-throughput cellular screening assays. This procedure modernizes the traditional natural product fractionation paradigm by seamlessly integrating automation, informatics, and multimodal analytical interrogation capabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-754
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Natural Products
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 23 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Organic Chemistry


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