Planta Med 2018; 84(08): 544-550
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-123938
Natural Product Chemistry and Analytical Studies
Original Papers
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Cytotoxic Deoxypodophyllotoxin Can Be Extracted in High Purity from Anthriscus sylvestris Roots by Supercritical Carbon Dioxide

Christel L. C. Seegers
Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Biology, Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Pieter G. Tepper
Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Biology, Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Rita Setroikromo
Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Biology, Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Wim J. Quax
Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Biology, Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 07 August 2017
revised 10 November 2017

accepted 24 November 2017

Publication Date:
18 December 2017 (online)


Deoxypodophyllotoxin is present in the roots of Anthriscus sylvestris. This compound is cytotoxic on its own, but it can also be converted into podophyllotoxin, which is in high demand as a precursor for the important anticancer drugs etoposide and teniposide. In this study, deoxypodophyllotoxin is extracted from A. sylvestris roots by supercritical carbon dioxide extraction. The process is simple and scalable. The supercritical carbon dioxide method extracts 75 – 80% of the total deoxypodophyllotoxin content, which is comparable to a single extraction by traditional Soxhlet. However, less polar components are extracted. The activity of the supercritical carbon dioxide extract containing deoxypodophyllotoxin was assessed by demonstrating that the extract arrests A549 and HeLa cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle. We conclude that biologically active deoxypodophyllotoxin can be extracted from A. sylvestris by supercritical carbon dioxide extraction. The method is solvent free and more sustainable compared to traditional methods.

Supporting Information

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