Planta Med 1998; 64(3): 233-236
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-957416
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Structure-Hepatoprotective Relationships Study of Soyasaponins I-IV Having Soyasapogenol B as Aglycone#

Junei Kinjo, Makoto Imagire, Manabu Udayama, Tomonori Arao, Toshihiro Nohara
  • Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan
# Part 3 in a series of studies on the hepatoprotective drugs, part 56 in a series of studies on the constituents of the leguminous plants.
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Publication History



Publication Date:
04 January 2007 (online)


As a part of our study on the leguminous plants, we investigated the constituents of the aerial parts of Glycine soya. We isolated and identified four known saponins, soyasaponins I, II, III, and IV which have the same aglycone, soyasapogenol B. As a part of our studies concerning hepatoprotective drugs, we also examined the hepatoprotective actions of these saponins towards immunologically induced liver injury on primary cultured rat hepatocytes. The action of soyasaponin II was almost comparable with that of soyasaponin I, whereas those of soya-saponin III and IV were more effective than soyasaponins I and II. This means that the disaccharide group shows greater action than the trisaccharide group. Futhermore, the saponin having a hexosyl unit shows a slightly greater action than that of the pentosyl unit in each disaccharide group or trisaccharide group. Structure-activity relationships suggest that the sugar moiety linked at C-3 may play an important role in hepatoprotective actions of soybean saponins.