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Bis (Isothiocyanatomethyl) Benzene, A Plant Derived Anti-Neoplastic Compound: Purified from Moringa Oleifera Leaf Extract

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Background: Moringa oleifera lam, commonly known as “Sajina”, is an indigenous species to India. In our folk medicine, it is used for the treatment of Canker (cancer). The Moringa oleifera leaf extract contains many phyto-compounds, with some being anti-neoplastic in nature.

Objective: Our preliminary study showed that the leaf extract significantly kills cancer cells compared to normal cells. On searching for the new phyto-compound, Bis-isothiocyanatomethyl) benzene was purified and isolated.

Methods: The sequential process of fractional distillation, column chromatography, followed by TLC and HPLC is performed for purification. Every fraction from each step was tested on HeLa cell line for evaluating the presence of the phyto-compound.

Results and Conclusion: FTIR peak analysis of a single phyto-compound shows the presence of thiocyanate group, aromatic carbon group. 1H & 13C NMR peak analysis along with High-resolution mass spectroscopy (HRMS) calculation confirm the chemical structure with IUPAC name [Bis (Isothiocyanatomethyl) benzene]. Previously, Isothiocyanatomethyl- benzene solely or in conjugation with sugar molecule has been reported, but its dimeric form in nature hasnot yet been published anywhere. It shows anticancer activity by retarding cancer cell growth & inhibits carcinogenesis on HeLa, MCF-7, and MDA-MB-231 cell lines by caspase 3 apoptotic pathway and showed comparatively less cytotoxicity to PBMC cell. It shows anticancer activity almost the same as the market available drug Cis-Platin. Therefore, further extrapolating its activity with different concentrations may result in its use as a drug formulation for the treatment of cancer.
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Keywords: FTIR; HPLC; Moringa oleifera; NMR; anti-neoplastic agent; chemical analysis; phyto-compound; purification

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2019

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