PKFokam Journal of Science and Technology

The KFokam Journal Of Applied Science & Technology

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Isolation of a pentacyclic triterpenoid

Research Article

Full original manuscript

Isolation of a pentacyclic triterpenoid from Sceletium tortuosum

Itumeleng B.Setshedia*, Martin Myera, John Dewara and Gerda Foucheb*
aCollege of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of South Africa, Florida Park, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
bDepartment of Chemistry, University of Pretoria, Hatfield, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa


Traditionally, extracts from Sceletium tortuosum have been used, both as a medicine as well as for social and spiritual purposes. The genus is distributed in the south-western parts of South Africa. Methanolic extracts of S. tortuosum were prepared and fractionated using column chromatography. Indole alkaloids have been reported from S.  tortuosum with mesembrine as the most abundant alkaloid and mesembrenone, 4’-odemethylmesembrenol and tortuosamine also present. A triterpenoid, novel to this genus was isolated and reported for the first time. NMR and HPLC-MS/MS analyses were used to confirm the structure of the compound.

Key words: Sceletium tortuosum, alkaloids, triterpenoid, obtusalin.

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