Stability-indicating LC assay of and impurity identification in homoharringtonine samples.
Homoharringtonine (HHT) is a potent myelosuppressive agent and has antitumor activity. Recent studies suggest that it inhibits tumor growth by inducing apoptosis. HHT is an ester of the alkaloid cephalotaxine. It is isolated from genus Cephalotaxus. At least ten HHT analogs have been identified from cephalotaxus extracts. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) separations of the cephalotaxine alkaloids in plant extracts have been reported, they have not been validated as specific and stability-indicating for HHT. Due to the complexity of the alkaloid extracts, it is conceivable that additional analogs may still be unresolved from HHT. This paper presents an improved and validated HPLC assay for HHT. The assay is stability-indicating, precise (R.S.D. < 1%), linear (r2 = 0.9999), and accurate (error < 1%). The assay reveals three congeners present as impurities in HHT samples. Two are new and have not been previously reported. Identities of the impurities and forced decomposition products, elucidated with their HPLC retention and spectral data, are also presented.
He, J; Cheung, AP; Wang, E; Struble, E; Fang, K; Nguyen, N; Liu, P
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