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Pharmazie. 2002 Jul;57(7):491-3.

Biologically active steroidal glycosides from Tribulus terrestris.

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National Center for Natural Products Research, University of Mississippi, USA.


The steroidal saponin constituents obtained from Tribulus terrestris were tested for their antimicrobial and cytotoxic effects. The spirostanol-based steroidal saponins 1-3 exhibited remarkable activity against fungal organisms (Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans) and cancer cell lines [human malignant melanoma (SK-MEL), human oral epidermoid carcinoma (KB), human breast ductal carcinoma (BT-549), and human ovary carcinoma (SK-OV-3)], while none of the compounds possessing the furostanol framework 4-7 showed activity. The most active spirostanol glycoside, compound 3 exhibited a broad range of anticancer activity against cell lines, SK-MEL, KB, BT-549 and SK-OV-3 at IC50s of 6.0, 7.0, 6.0 and 8.2 micrograms/ml, respectively, while compounds 1 and 2 showed selective cytotoxicity against SK-MEL at 6.7 and 9.1 micrograms/ml, respectively. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) in antifungal bioassay for compounds 1-3 varied from 1.5 to 6.2 micrograms/ml, which prompted to conclude certain structural features are required for these bioactivities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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