Production of anti-HIV-1 calanolides in a callus culture of Calophyllum brasiliense (Cambes)

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Calophyllum brasiliense (Cambes) produces calanolide secondary metabolites that are active against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcriptase. In this study, it was demonstrated that plant tissue culture is a useful technique for producing these metabolites. Different concentrations and combinations of plant growth regulators were tested in leaf and seed explants to establish callus cultures capable of producing calanolides. Highest callus induction (100%) was achieved when seed explants were incubated in a medium consisting of 8.88 μM 6-benzyladenine and 20 μM picloram. Highest callus induction (80.67%) was observed when leaf explants were incubated on a medium consisting of 0.46 μM kinetin and 5.37 μM α-naphthaleneacetic acid. High-performance liquid chromatography quantitative analysis revealed higher calanolide B and calanolide C production in calluses from seed explants than those developed from leaves (309.25 vs. 8.70 mg kg−1 for calanolide B; 117.70 vs. 0.0 mg kg−1 for calanolide C).

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2



Analysis of variance




Dual wavelength absorbance detector


Dry weight


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcriptase


High-performance liquid chromatography


Indole-3-butyric acid




α-Naphthaleneacetic acid


Plant growth regulator(s)





RT :

Retention time




Woody plant medium


2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid


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The authors thank Dr. Marius Mumbai Massip from Universidad of Barcelona, Spain, and Dr. Arturo Navarro Ocaña from UNAM for their assistance with the HPLC analysis.

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Correspondence to F. Cruz-Sosa.

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Bernabé-Antonio, A., Estrada-Zúñiga, M.E., Buendía-González, L. et al. Production of anti-HIV-1 calanolides in a callus culture of Calophyllum brasiliense (Cambes). Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 103, 33–40 (2010).

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  • Calophyllum brasiliense
  • Secondary metabolite
  • Tissue culture
  • Calanolide B
  • Calanolide C
  • HIV-1