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Special Issue "Saponins"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. David Popovich
Website
Guest Editor
Massey University, Massey Institute of Food Science and Technology, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Interests: phytochemicals; traditional plant based medicine; ginseng; soy; bioactive plants
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Saponins are a diverse group of molecules that are present in a wide variety of plants, some of which are used in traditional medicines. This Special Issue aims to attract contributions on all aspects of the chemistry and bioactivity (cells, antimicrobial, and antiviral) of saponin containing food and traditional medicines.

Dr. David Popovich
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Triterpenoids
  • Ginseng
  • Soy
  • Traditional medicine
  • Bioactivity

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Increase in Protective Effect of Panax vietnamensis by Heat Processing on Cisplatin-Induced Kidney Cell Toxicity
Molecules 2019, 24(24), 4627; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24244627 - 17 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Cisplatin is a platinum-based anticancer agent used for treating a wide range of solid cancers. One of the side effects of this drug is its severe nephrotoxicity, limiting the safe dose of cisplatin. Therefore, many natural products have been studied and applied to [...] Read more.
Cisplatin is a platinum-based anticancer agent used for treating a wide range of solid cancers. One of the side effects of this drug is its severe nephrotoxicity, limiting the safe dose of cisplatin. Therefore, many natural products have been studied and applied to attenuate the toxicity of this compound. In this study, we found that steamed Vietnamese ginseng (Panax vietnamensis) could significantly reduce the kidney damage of cisplatin in an in vitro model using porcine proximal tubular LLC-PK1 kidney cells. From processed ginseng under optimized conditions (120 °C, 12 h), we isolated seven compounds (20(R,S)-ginsenoside Rh2, 20(R,S)-ginsenoside Rg3, ginsenoside Rk1, ginsenoside-Rg5, and ocotillol genin) that showed kidney-protective potential against cisplatin toxicity. By comparing the 50% recovery concentration (RC50), the R form of ginsenoside, Rh2 and Rg3, had RC50 values of 6.67 ± 0.42 µM and 8.39 ± 0.3 µM, respectively, while the S forms of ginsenoside, Rh2 and Rg3, and Rk1, had weaker protective effects, with RC50 ranging from 46.15 to 88.4 µM. G-Rg5 and ocotillol, the typical saponin of Vietnamese ginseng, had the highest RC50 (180.83 ± 33.27; 226.19 ± 66.16, respectively). Our results suggest that processed Vietnamese gingseng (PVG), as well as those compounds, has the potential to improve kidney damage due to cisplatin toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Saponins)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Analysis of Ginsenoside Content (Panax ginseng) from Different Regions
Molecules 2019, 24(19), 3491; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24193491 - 26 Sep 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
Recently Panax ginseng has been grown as a secondary crop under a pine tree canopy in New Zealand (NZ). The aim of the study is to compare the average content of ginsenosides from NZ-grown ginseng and its original native locations (China and Korea) [...] Read more.
Recently Panax ginseng has been grown as a secondary crop under a pine tree canopy in New Zealand (NZ). The aim of the study is to compare the average content of ginsenosides from NZ-grown ginseng and its original native locations (China and Korea) grown ginseng. Ten batches of NZ-grown ginseng were extracted using 70% methanol and analyzed using LC-MS/MS. The average content of ginsenosides from China and Korea grown ginseng were obtained by collecting data from 30 and 17 publications featuring China and Korea grown ginseng, respectively. The average content of total ginsenosides in NZ-grown ginseng was 40.06 ± 3.21 mg/g (n = 14), which showed significantly (p < 0.05) higher concentration than that of China grown ginseng (16.48 ± 1.24 mg/g, n = 113) and Korea grown ginseng (21.05 ± 1.57 mg/g, n = 106). For the individual ginsenosides, except for the ginsenosides Rb2, Rc, and Rd, ginsenosides Rb1, Re, Rf, and Rg1 from NZ-grown ginseng were 2.22, 2.91, 1.65, and 1.27 times higher than that of ginseng grown in China, respectively. Ginsenosides Re and Rg1 in NZ-grown ginseng were also 2.14 and 1.63 times higher than ginseng grown in Korea. From the accumulation of ginsenosides, New Zealand volcanic pumice soil may be more suitable for ginseng growth than its place of origin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Saponins)
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Open AccessArticle
Ophiopogon Polysaccharide Promotes the In Vitro Metabolism of Ophiopogonins by Human Gut Microbiota
Molecules 2019, 24(16), 2886; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24162886 - 08 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Gut microbiota play an important role in metabolism of intake saponins, and parallelly, the polysaccharides deriving from herbal products possess effects on gut microbiota. Ophiopogonis Radix is a common Chinese herb that is popularly used as functional food in China. Polysaccharide and steroidal [...] Read more.
Gut microbiota play an important role in metabolism of intake saponins, and parallelly, the polysaccharides deriving from herbal products possess effects on gut microbiota. Ophiopogonis Radix is a common Chinese herb that is popularly used as functional food in China. Polysaccharide and steroidal saponin, e.g., ophiopogonin, mainly ophiopogonin D (Oph-D) and ophiopogonin D’ (Oph-D’), are the major constituents in this herb. In order to reveal the role of gut microbiota in metabolizing ophiopogonin, an in vitro metabolism of Oph-D and Oph-D’ by human gut microbiota, in combination with or without Ophiopogon polysaccharide, was conducted. A sensitive and reliable UPLC-MS/MS method was developed to simultaneously quantify Oph-D, Oph-D’ and their final metabolites, i.e., ruscogenin and diosgenin in the broth of microbiota. An elimination of Oph-D and Oph-D’ was revealed in a time-dependent manner, as well as the recognition of a parallel increase of ruscogenin and diosgenin. Ophiopogon polysaccharide was shown to stimulate the gut microbiota-induced metabolism of ophiopogonins. This promoting effect was further verified by increased activities of β-D-glucosidase, β-D-xylosidase, α-L-rhamnosidase and β-D-fucosidase in the broth. This study can be extended to investigate the metabolism of steroidal saponins by gut microbiota when combined with other herbal products, especially those herbs enriched with polysaccharides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Saponins)
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Open AccessArticle
Rapid Characterization of Triterpene Saponins from Zornia brasiliensis by HPLC-ESI-MS/MS
Molecules 2019, 24(14), 2519; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24142519 - 10 Jul 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Zornia brasiliensis Vogel (Leguminosae) is a species popularly known in Brazil as “urinária”, “urinana”, and “carrapicho”, it is popularly used as a diuretic and in the treatment of venereal diseases. A specific methodology to obtain a saponin-enriched fraction and high-performance liquid chromatography coupled [...] Read more.
Zornia brasiliensis Vogel (Leguminosae) is a species popularly known in Brazil as “urinária”, “urinana”, and “carrapicho”, it is popularly used as a diuretic and in the treatment of venereal diseases. A specific methodology to obtain a saponin-enriched fraction and high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with diode array detection, ion trap mass spectrometry, and TOF-MS (HPLC-DAD-ESI-MS/MS) was applied for the analysis of triterpene saponins. The MS and MS/MS experiments were carried out by ionization in negative mode. Molecular mass and fragmentation data were used to support the structural characterization of the saponins. Based on retention times, high-resolution mass determination and fragmentation, 35 oleanane-triterpene saponins were tentatively identified in Z. brasiliensis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Saponins)
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Open AccessArticle
Gypenoside LXXV Promotes Cutaneous Wound Healing In Vivo by Enhancing Connective Tissue Growth Factor Levels Via the Glucocorticoid Receptor Pathway
Molecules 2019, 24(8), 1595; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24081595 - 23 Apr 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
Cutaneous wound healing is a well-orchestrated event in which many types of cells and growth factors are involved in restoring the barrier function of skin. In order to identify whether ginsenosides, the main active components of Panax ginseng, promote wound healing, the [...] Read more.
Cutaneous wound healing is a well-orchestrated event in which many types of cells and growth factors are involved in restoring the barrier function of skin. In order to identify whether ginsenosides, the main active components of Panax ginseng, promote wound healing, the proliferation and migration activities of 15 different ginsenosides were tested by MTT assay and scratched wound closure assay. Among ginsenosides, gypenoside LXXV (G75) showed the most potent wound healing effects. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the effects of G75 on wound healing in vivo and characterize associated molecular changes. G75 significantly increased proliferation and migration of keratinocytes and fibroblasts, and promoted wound closure in an excision wound mouse model compared with madecassoside (MA), which has been used to treat wounds. Additionally, RNA sequencing data revealed G75-mediated significant upregulation of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), which is known to be produced via the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) pathway. Consistently, the increase in production of CTGF was confirmed by western blot and ELISA. In addition, GR-competitive binding assay and GR translocation assay results demonstrated that G75 can be bound to GR and translocated into the nucleus. These results demonstrated that G75 is a newly identified effective component in wound healing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Saponins)
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Open AccessArticle
Oleiferasaponin A2, a Novel Saponin from Camellia oleifera Abel. Seeds, Inhibits Lipid Accumulation of HepG2 Cells Through Regulating Fatty Acid Metabolism
Molecules 2018, 23(12), 3296; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23123296 - 12 Dec 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
A new triterpenoid saponin, named oleiferasaponin A2, was isolated and identified from Camellia oleifera defatted seeds. Oleiferasaponin A2 exhibited anti-hyperlipidemic activity on HepG2 cell lines. Further study of the hypolipidemic mechanism showed that oleiferasaponin A2 inhibited fatty acid synthesis [...] Read more.
A new triterpenoid saponin, named oleiferasaponin A2, was isolated and identified from Camellia oleifera defatted seeds. Oleiferasaponin A2 exhibited anti-hyperlipidemic activity on HepG2 cell lines. Further study of the hypolipidemic mechanism showed that oleiferasaponin A2 inhibited fatty acid synthesis by significantly down-regulating the expression of SREBP-1c, FAS and FAS protein, while dramatically promoting fatty acid β-oxidation by up-regulating the expression of ACOX-1, CPT-1 and ACOX-1 protein. Our results demonstrate that the oleiferasaponin A2 possesses potential medicinal value for hyperlipidemia treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Saponins)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Biosurfactant β-Aescin: A Review on the Physico-Chemical Properties and Its Interaction with Lipid Model Membranes and Langmuir Monolayers
Molecules 2020, 25(1), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25010117 - 27 Dec 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
This review discusses recent progress in physicochemical understanding of the action of the saponin β -aescin (also called β -escin), the biologically active component in the seeds of the horse chestnut tree Aesculus hippocastanum. β -Aescin is used in pharmacological and cosmetic [...] Read more.
This review discusses recent progress in physicochemical understanding of the action of the saponin β -aescin (also called β -escin), the biologically active component in the seeds of the horse chestnut tree Aesculus hippocastanum. β -Aescin is used in pharmacological and cosmetic applications showing strong surface activity. In this review, we outline the most important findings describing the behavior of β -aescin in solution (e.g., critical micelle concentration ( c m c ) and micelle shape) and special physicochemical properties of adsorbed β -aescin monolayers at the air–water and oil–water interface. Such monolayers were found to posses very special viscoelastic properties. The presentation of the experimental findings is complemented by discussing recent molecular dynamics simulations. These simulations do not only quantify the predominant interactions in adsorbed monolayers but also highlight the different behavior of neutral and ionized β -aescin molecules. The review concludes on the interaction of β -aescin with phospholipid model membranes in the form of bilayers and Langmuir monolayers. The interaction of β -aescin with lipid bilayers was found to strongly depend on its c m c . At concentrations below the c m c , membrane parameters are modified whereas above the c m c , complete solubilization of the bilayers occurs, depending on lipid phase state and concentration. In the presence of gel-phase phospholipids, discoidal bicelles form; these are tunable in size by composition. The phase behavior of β -aescin with lipid membranes can also be modified by addition of other molecules such as cholesterol or drug molecules. The lipid phase state also determines the penetration rate of β -aescin molecules into lipid monolayers. The strongest interaction was always found in the presence of gel-phase phospholipid molecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Saponins)
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Open AccessReview
Neuroprotective Effects of Ginseng Phytochemicals: Recent Perspectives
Molecules 2019, 24(16), 2939; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24162939 - 14 Aug 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
As our global population ages, the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases is critical to our society. In recent years, researchers have begun to study the role of biologically active chemicals from plants and herbs to gain new inspiration and develop new therapeutic drugs. Ginseng [...] Read more.
As our global population ages, the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases is critical to our society. In recent years, researchers have begun to study the role of biologically active chemicals from plants and herbs to gain new inspiration and develop new therapeutic drugs. Ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Mey.) is a famous Chinese herbal medicine with a variety of pharmacological activities. It has been used to treat various diseases since ancient times. Extensive research over the years has shown that ginseng has potential as a neuroprotective drug, and its neuroprotective effects can be used to treat and prevent neurological damage or pathologically related diseases (such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, depression symptoms, and strokes). Moreover, evidence for the medicinal and health benefits of ginsenoside, its main active ingredient, in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases is increasing, and current clinical results have not reported any serious adverse reactions to ginseng. Therefore, we briefly review the recent research and development on the beneficial effects and mechanisms of ginseng and its main active ingredient, ginsenoside, in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, hoping to provide some ideas for the discovery and identification of ginseng neuroprotection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Saponins)
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Open AccessReview
Chemical Structures and Pharmacological Profiles of Ginseng Saponins
Molecules 2019, 24(13), 2443; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24132443 - 03 Jul 2019
Cited by 17
Abstract
Ginseng is a group of cosmopolitan plants with more than a dozen species belonging to the genus Panax in the family Araliaceae that has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Among the bioactive constituents extracted from ginseng, ginseng saponins [...] Read more.
Ginseng is a group of cosmopolitan plants with more than a dozen species belonging to the genus Panax in the family Araliaceae that has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Among the bioactive constituents extracted from ginseng, ginseng saponins are a group of natural steroid glycosides and triterpene saponins found exclusively throughout the plant. Studies have shown that these ginseng saponins play a significant role in exerting multiple therapeutic effects. This review covers their chemical structure and classification, as well as their pharmacological activities, including their regulatory effects on immunomodulation, their anticancer effects, and their functions in the central nervous and cardiovascular systems. The general benefits of ginseng saponins for boosting physical vitality and improving quality of life are also discussed. The review concludes with fruitful directions for future research in the use of ginseng saponins as effective therapeutic agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Saponins)
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Open AccessReview
Role of Saponins in Plant Defense Against Specialist Herbivores
Molecules 2019, 24(11), 2067; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24112067 - 30 May 2019
Cited by 15
Abstract
The diamondback moth (DBM), Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) is a very destructive crucifer-specialized pest that has resulted in significant crop losses worldwide. DBM is well attracted to glucosinolates (which act as fingerprints and essential for herbivores in host plant recognition) containing crucifers such [...] Read more.
The diamondback moth (DBM), Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) is a very destructive crucifer-specialized pest that has resulted in significant crop losses worldwide. DBM is well attracted to glucosinolates (which act as fingerprints and essential for herbivores in host plant recognition) containing crucifers such as wintercress, Barbarea vulgaris (Brassicaceae) despite poor larval survival on it due to high-to-low concentration of saponins and generally to other plants in the genus Barbarea. B. vulgaris build up resistance against DBM and other herbivorous insects using glucosinulates which are used in plant defense. Aside glucosinolates, Barbarea genus also contains triterpenoid saponins, which are toxic to insects and act as feeding deterrents for plant specialist herbivores (such as DBM). Previous studies have found interesting relationship between the host plant and secondary metabolite contents, which indicate that attraction or resistance to specialist herbivore DBM, is due to higher concentrations of glucosinolates and saponins in younger leaves in contrast to the older leaves of Barbarea genus. As a response to this phenomenon, herbivores as DBM has developed a strategy of defense against these plant biochemicals. Because there is a lack of full knowledge in understanding bioactive molecules (such as saponins) role in plant defense against plant herbivores. Thus, in this review, we discuss the role of secondary plant metabolites in plant defense mechanisms against the specialist herbivores. In the future, trials by plant breeders could aim at transferring these bioactive molecules against herbivore to cash crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Saponins)
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Open AccessReview
Black Ginseng and Its Saponins: Preparation, Phytochemistry and Pharmacological Effects
Molecules 2019, 24(10), 1856; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24101856 - 14 May 2019
Cited by 10
Abstract
Black ginseng is a type of processed ginseng that is prepared from white or red ginseng by steaming and drying several times. This process causes extensive changes in types and amounts of secondary metabolites. The chief secondary metabolites in ginseng are ginsenosides (dammarane-type [...] Read more.
Black ginseng is a type of processed ginseng that is prepared from white or red ginseng by steaming and drying several times. This process causes extensive changes in types and amounts of secondary metabolites. The chief secondary metabolites in ginseng are ginsenosides (dammarane-type triterpene saponins), which transform into less polar ginsenosides in black ginseng by steaming. In addition, apparent changes happen to other secondary metabolites such as the increase in the contents of phenolic compounds, reducing sugars and acidic polysaccharides in addition to the decrease in concentrations of free amino acids and total polysaccharides. Furthermore, the presence of some Maillard reaction products like maltol was also engaged. These obvious chemical changes were associated with a noticeable superiority for black ginseng over white and red ginseng in most of the comparative biological studies. This review article is an attempt to illustrate different methods of preparation of black ginseng, major chemical changes of saponins and other constituents after steaming as well as the reported biological activities of black ginseng, its major saponins and other metabolites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Saponins)
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