Planta Med 2010; 76 - P311
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1264609

Triterpenoid saponins of the Caryophyllaceae and Illecebraceae family

S Böttger 1, M Melzig 1
  • 1Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of Pharmacy, Koenigin-Luise-Str. 2+4, 14195 Berlin, Germany

The closely related plant families of Caryophyllaceae and Illecebraceae are reviewed for their saponins. An overview with special attention on the contained sapogenins and their linkage of sugar moieties is provided. Gypsogenin, Gypsogenic acid and Quillaic acid turned out to be widely spread in the family of Caryophyllaceae. Gypsogenin is found in 46% of the examined species. The occurrence of Gypsogenin is 1.5-fold higher than that of Gypsogenic acid or Quillaic acid, which occur with the same frequency. The genus Gypsophila L. of the family of Caryophyllaceae has the highest accumulation of Gypsogenin. 75% of the examined species comprehend Gypsogenin. It occurs 3-fold more often than Gypsogenic acid or Quillaic acid in this genus. In contrast all examined species of the family of Illecebraceae lack of Gypsogenin. Since certain bisdesmosidic Gypsogenin-based saponins of Gypsophila paniculata L. recently showed the ability to drastically amplify the toxicity of cellular membrane-impermeable type I ribosome-inactivating proteins (type I RIPs), the analysis reveals other possible natural sources for further testing [1, 2, 3].

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2. Weng, A. et al. (2009) Chem.-Biol. Interact. 181:424–429.

3. Hebestreit, P. et al. (2006) Toxicon 47:330–335.