Glycyrrhiza glabra (Linn.) and Lavandula officinalis (L.) cell suspension cultures-based biotransformation of β-artemether

J Nat Med. 2011 Jul;65(3-4):646-50. doi: 10.1007/s11418-011-0539-5. Epub 2011 May 5.


The biotransformation of β-artemether (1) by cell suspension cultures of Glycyrrhiza glabra and Lavandula officinalis is reported here for the first time. The major biotransformed product appeared as a grayish-blue color spot on thin-layer chromatography (TLC) with transparent crystal-like texture. Based on its infrared (IR) and (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra, the product was characterized as a tetrahydrofuran (THF)-acetate derivative (2). The highest conversion efficiencies of 57 and 60% were obtained when 8-9-day-old cell suspensions of G. glabra and L. officinalis were respectively fed with 4-7 mg of compound 1 in 40 ml of medium per culture and the cells were harvested after 2-5 days of incubation. The addition of compound 1 at the beginning of the culture cycle caused severe growth depression in a dose-dependent manner, resulting in poor bioconversion efficiency of ~25% at 2-5 mg/culture dose only.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Artemether
  • Artemisinins / chemistry
  • Artemisinins / metabolism*
  • Artemisinins / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromatography, Thin Layer
  • Glycyrrhiza / cytology
  • Glycyrrhiza / drug effects*
  • Glycyrrhiza / metabolism*
  • Lavandula / cytology
  • Lavandula / drug effects*
  • Lavandula / metabolism*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Structure


  • Artemisinins
  • Artemether