Due to their substitution with an isoprenoid group, prenylated flavonoids have an increased affinity for biological membranes and target proteins, enhancing their potential bioactivity. Although many prenylated flavonoids have been described, there are no methods that specifically screen for their presence in complex mixtures, prior to purification. We describe a method based on ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) with electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) that allows rapid screening for prenylated flavonoids in multi-component plant extracts. Identification of the prenylated flavonoids is based on screening for neutral losses of 42 u and 56 u in the positive-ion mode MS2 and MS3 spectra within the MS chromatograms. In addition, this method discriminates between a prenyl chain and a ring-closed prenyl (pyran ring), based on the ratio of the relative abundances of the ions that lose 42 u and 56 u (42:56). The application of this screening method on a 70% aq. ethanol, ethanol and ethyl acetate extract of the roots of Glycyrrhiza glabra indicated the presence of 70 mono- and di-prenylated flavonoids. In addition, of each prenylated flavonoid the type of prenylation, chain or pyran ring was determined.
- isoprenylated flavonoids
- phenolic constituents
Simons, R., Vincken, J. P., Bakx, E. J., Verbruggen, M. A., & Gruppen, H. (2009). A rapid screening method for prenylated flavonoids with ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry in licorice root extracts. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 23(19), 3083-3093. https://doi.org/10.1002/rcm.4215