Comprehensive identification of active triterpenoid metabolites in frankincense using a coupling strategy

Yuanyan Liu*, Zhenli Liu, Cheng Lu, Jianbei Li, Zhangchi Ning, Zhiqian Song, Chun Wang, Zhiyong Du, Xinmiao Lu, Siyu Zhao, Aiping LYU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Frankincense resins are extensively used as natural remedies in regions ranging from North Africa to China. Triterpenoid metabolites from frankincense exhibit notable anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties. In the present paper, without the use of an isolation process, the fragmentation rules and NMR spectral characteristics of triterpenoid metabolites in frankincense are summarized through a coupling method using high performance liquid chromatography-diode array detection/electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-DAD/ESI-MSn) combined with HPLC-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments. Based on this groundwork, a coupling strategy for the comprehensive metabolic profiling of active triterpenoid metabolites from enriched fractions of frankincense was developed. The proposed strategy may serve as a method for the holistic screening of bioactive metabolites in complex TCM samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-98
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Frankincense resins
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Metabolic profiling
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance
  • Triterpenoid metabolites


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