Synthesis and cytotoxic activity of diosgenyl saponin analogues
Kaskiw, Matthew J.
Master of Science
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Saponins are naturally occurring glycosides that are widely distributed in the plant kingdom and lower marine organisms. Saponins consist of a carbohydrate chain attached to either a steroid or triterpene aglycone. Diosgenyl saponins are among the most abundant steroidal saponins and have attracted much attention for a host of varying biological activities. In recent years, diosgenyl saponins have demonstrated anticancer activity in a variety of cancer cell lines. The antitumour effect of diosgenyl saponins is shown to be through apoptosis. Structural complexity and limited accessibility have led to a poor understanding of the mechanism of diosgenyl saponin anticancer activity. The position of attachment of moieties on the aglycone and the variety of the side chains are all factors that contribute to the complexity of a structure activity relationship study.