Preformulation studies on piperlongumine

Alhassan Aodah, Aaron Pavlik, Kelly Karlage, Paul B. Myrdal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Piperlongumine is a natural alkaloid extracted from piper plants which has been used traditionally for the treatment of certain diseases. This compound shows interesting in vitro pharmacological activity such as selective anticancer activity and higher cytotoxicity than methotrexate, cyclophosphamide and adriamycin on breast, colon, and osteosarcoma cancers, respectively. However, the physicochemical properties for this compound have not been well characterized. In this research, preformulation studies for piperlongumine have been performed to determine factors which influence solubility and stability which, in turn, can be used to assist future formulation development. The solubility of piperlongumine in water was found to be approximately 26 μg/ml. Using 10% polysorbate 80 as a surfactant resulted in a 27 fold increase in solubility. Cosolvents and cyclodextrins afforded concentrations of 1 mg/ml and higher. The pH degradation rate profile for piperlongumine at various temperatures shows significant instability of the drug at pH values ≥ 7 and 3, and maximum stability around pH 4. It was estimated that it would take approximately 17 weeks for piperlongumine to degrade by 10% at 25°C, pH 4. Additionally, piperlongumine showed marked photo-degradation upon exposure to an ultraviolet light source, especially in aqueous media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0151707
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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