Main content area

Cytotoxic saponins from bulbs of Allium porrum L

Fattorusso, E., Lanzotti, V., Taglialatela-Scafati, O., Di Rosa, M., Ianaro, A.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2000 v.48 no.8 pp. 3455-3462
Allium porrum, bulbs, saponins, chemical structure, cytotoxicity, cell lines, neoplasms, monocytes, macrophages, mice, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, fibrosarcoma
An extensive phytochemical analysis of the saponin content has been undertaken on leek, Allium porrum L., sown and collected at different seasons. As a result of this investigation, eight saponins (1-8) have been isolated, four of them (5-8) being novel compounds. Compounds 5 and 6, possessing the same tetrasaccharide moiety of compounds 1 and 3, display very unusual spirostane aglycones, 12-ketoporrigenin and 2,12-diketoporrigenin (named porrigenin C), respectively, recently isolated for the first time as free sapogenin in the same plant. Compounds 7 and 8 are rare cholestane bidesmosides possessing a di- and trisaccharide residues linked to a polyhydroxycholesterol aglycone, respectively. The structures of the isolated compounds have been determined by nondegradative spectroscopic analysis, mainly based on NMR. All the eight saponins isolated from leek were tested for their cytotoxic activity against two different cell lines in vitro, and compounds 1,2, and 6 resulted particularly active.