Metabolomic Profiling, miRNAs Analysis and Molecular Docking of Two Different Populations of the Genus Galphimia



Access level

Open Access

Summary or description


Galphimia glauca (Cav.) Kuntze is medicinal plant from Mexican origin that belongs to the Malpighiaceae family, important in traditional medicine for its popular use in treating disorders of the Central Nervous System (CNS) such as anxiety. Geographically, the 22 species of Galphimia spp. are widely distributed all over Mexico and G. glauca, is distributed in 8 states. Plants respond to their environment by generating different phytochemicals to withstand both biotic and abiotic stress and, previous studies demonstrated that population from Guanajuato has been identified as producing the main compound with anxiolytic activity, Galphimine B that belongs to a group of nor-seco triterpenes: galphimines (A-I); while a population of San Luis Potosí shows an absence of these compounds. In the present study, a differential phytochemical profile of the compounds present in producer (P) and non-producer (NP) populations from the Galphimia genus, was obtained. As a result, the P population exhibited a higher amount of triterpene compounds compared to the NP population, which presented higher number of polyphenol compounds, as revealed by the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. Multivariate analysis from GC-MS data demonstrated two different clusters of compounds, according to their level of correlations between chemical classes, supporting the previous categorization of P and NP. The confirmatory analysis done by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), corroborated this categorization, where the P samples pesented the characteristic galphimine peaks, which were not present in NP samples. Further metabolomic analysis done by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-spectrometry of mass (UHPLC-QTOF-MS), complemented the information obtained by the GC-MS analysis, and revealed two compounds involved in the triterpenoid synthesis. To understand the genetic regulation in both populations, a miRNAs analysis was performed. As a result, 2 possible miRNAs were obsereved expressing higher levels in P producer in relation with NP population, targeting gene expression [Terpene synthases (TPSs) and Farnesyl Diphosphate synthases (FDS)] for the triterpenoid biosynthetic pathways. The results obtained from the metabolomic analysis were utilized for in silico prediction of chemical-medicinal mechanisms from P population, in which tree phytochemical compounds from the P population (β-sitosterol, Vitamin E and Galphimine B) were predicted to have a fair affinity for their respective target proteins assed by molecular docking, the obtained results will serve to the understanding of the effects on CNS and anti-inflammatory response. The integrated information in the present study would serve for further validation of phytochemical compounds, as well as a basis for the future studies in Galphimia glauca such as the relation between transcriptome and metabolomic profiles by using the provided miRNAs regulation information as a scaffold, with future application in with in the design of new biotechnological strategies to exploit this plant.

Master of Science in Biotechnology


Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey

Publish date

June 15, 2020

Publication type

Master thesis







Source repository

Repositorio Institucional del Tecnológico de Monterrey




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