Isolation and Fast Selective Determination of Nor-abietanoid Diterpenoids from Perovskia atriplicifolia Roots Using LC-ESI-MS/MS with Multiple Reaction Monitoring

Nat Prod Commun. 2015 Jul;10(7):1149-52.


In the first part of this study we extracted, isolated, and identified the main diterpenoid constituents from the roots of a Central Asian medicinal and ornamental plant--Perovskia atriplicifolia Benth. Eight major nor-abietanoid pigments were obtained using NP silica gel column chromatography and preparative RP-HPLC: cryptotanshinone, 1-hydroxycryptotanhinone, miltirone, 1-oxomiltirone, tanshinone IIa, 1,2 didehydrotanshinone IIa, 1,2 didehydromiltirone, the non-quinone diterpenoid - arucadiol, as well as rosmarinic acid as a main phenolic compound. Secondly, we used the obtained compounds for fast and selective determination of the main diterpenes present in P. atriplicifolia root extract. After extraction with n-hexane, the quantitative analysis was carried out by LC-MS/MS with a triple quadrupole (qQq) mass detector without any prior clean-up step. Identification of the diterpenes was confirmed by multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) using the most representative transitions from the precursor ions, while the most sensitive transitions were used for quantification in a 19-minute run. Most of the isolated and analyzed compounds had not been previously reported from this species. This easily cultivated plant is a promising source of several pharmacologically valuable abietanoid diterpenoids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abietanes / isolation & purification
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Cinnamates / isolation & purification
  • Depsides / isolation & purification
  • Diterpenes / chemistry
  • Diterpenes / isolation & purification*
  • Lamiaceae / chemistry*
  • Phenanthrenes / isolation & purification
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization


  • Abietanes
  • Cinnamates
  • Depsides
  • Diterpenes
  • Phenanthrenes
  • tanshinone
  • miltirone
  • cryptotanshinone
  • rosmarinic acid