Steroidal saponins from the leaves of Yucca de-smetiana and their in vitro antitumor activity: structure activity relationships through a molecular modeling approach

Research paper by Jacqueline Eskander, Ola K. Sakka, Dominique Harakat, Catherine Lavaud

Indexed on: 30 Jan '13Published on: 30 Jan '13Published in: Medicinal Chemistry Research


Four steroidal saponins were isolated from the leaves of Yucca de-smetiana Baker. Their structures were established using one- and two- dimensional NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. The structure of the new steroidal saponin was identified as: (25R)-3β-hydroxy-5α-spirostan-3-O-β-d-xylopyranosyl-(1 → 2)-β-d-galactopyranosyl-(1 → 2)-O-[β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1 → 3)]-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1 → 4)-β-d-galactopyranoside (desmettianoside C) along with three known spirostanol and furostanol saponins. The isolated saponins were evaluated for their antitumor activity against HCT116, MCF7, HepG2, and A549 cell lines. Saponins 3 and 4 showed potent activity against HCT116, MCF7, and HepG2 cell lines in comparison with the positive control doxorubicin. A molecular modeling approach was performed to establish conformational criteria that could affect the biological activity of the isolated saponins.