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Clin Exp Metastasis. 2003;20(4):375-83.

Triterpenoids from Glycine max decrease invasiveness and induce caspase-mediated cell death in human SNB19 glioma cells.

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Division of Cancer Biology, Department of Biomedical and Therapeutic Sciences, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, Illinois 61605, USA.


In recent years there has been an increasing interest in compounds present in foods that may prevent or slow the progression of chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and cancer. Saponins have been reported to have important time-dependent anti-cancer properties. We have used a highly purified and characterized saponin fraction containing the soyasapogenol B glycosides (the 'B group' saponins) from soybeans (Glycine max L.) to demonstrate a reduction in SNB 19 human glioblastoma cell invasion (45% decrease compared to untreated cells) in vitro in a Matrigel invasion assay. We have also demonstrated that triterpenoid saponin induces apopotosis and affects mictochondiral function. Dose-dependent loss of mitochondrial trans-membrane potential in SNB 19 cells occurred with treatment, along with release of cytochrome c, processing of caspase-9, and -3 and specific cleavage of poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP), a substrate of caspase-3. The results suggest that the saponin fraction induces apoptosis in SNB19 human glioblastoma cells by stimulating cytochrome-c release and subsequent activation of a caspase cascade. Our observations clearly demonstrate the pro-apoptotic and anti-invasive activities of the soyasapogenol B glycosides from soybeans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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