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Ebulin from Dwarf Elder (Sambucus ebulus L.): A Mini-Review

Nutrition and Food Science, Faculty of Medicine, and CINAD (Center for Research in Nutrition, Food and Dietetics), University of Valladolid, Valladolid E-47005, Spain
Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy, and IUFI (Institute of Industrial Pharmacy), Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid E-28040, Spain
Cell Biology, Histology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, and INCYL (Institute of Neurosciences of Castile and Leon), University of Valladolid, Valladolid E-47005, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Nilgun E. Tumer
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 648-658;
Received: 29 November 2014 / Revised: 30 January 2015 / Accepted: 15 February 2015 / Published: 25 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Toxins)
PDF [501 KB, uploaded 25 February 2015]


Sambucus ebulus L. (dwarf elder) is a medicinal plant, the usefulness of which also as food is restricted due to its toxicity. In the last few years, both the chemistry and pharmacology of Sambucus ebulus L. have been investigated. Among the structural and functional proteins present in the plant, sugar-binding proteins (lectins) with or without anti-ribosomal activity and single chain ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) have been isolated. RIPs are enzymes (E.C. that display N-glycosidase activity on the 28S rRNA subunit, leading to the inhibition of protein synthesis by arresting the step of polypeptide chain elongation. The biological role of all these proteins is as yet unknown. The evidence suggests that they could be involved in the defense of the plant against predators and viruses or/and a nitrogen store, with an impact on the nutritional characteristics and food safety. In this mini-review we describe all the isoforms of ebulin that have to date been isolated from dwarf elder, as well as their functional characteristics and potential uses, whilst highlighting concern regarding ebulin toxicity. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sambucus ebulus L.; blossoms; lectin; ebulin; ricin; ribosome-inactivating protein Sambucus ebulus L.; blossoms; lectin; ebulin; ricin; ribosome-inactivating protein
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jiménez, P.; Tejero, J.; Cordoba-Diaz, D.; Quinto, E.J.; Garrosa, M.; Gayoso, M.J.; Girbés, T. Ebulin from Dwarf Elder (Sambucus ebulus L.): A Mini-Review. Toxins 2015, 7, 648-658.

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