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Pharmazie. 2012 Apr;67(4):288-92.

Micellar aggregates of saponins from Chenopodium quinoa: characterization by dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy.

Author information

1
Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências Farmacêuticas, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil. simofar@gmail.com

Abstract

Entire seeds of Chenopodium quinoa Willd are a rich protein source and are also well-known for their high saponin content. Due to their amphiphily quinoa saponins are able to form intricate micellar aggregates in aqueous media. In this paper we study the aggregates formed by self-association of these compounds from two quinoa saponin fractions (FQ70 and FQ90) as well as several distinctive nanostructures obtained after their complexation with different ratios of cholesterol (CHOL) and phosphatidylcholine (PC). The FQ70 and FQ90 fractions were obtained by reversed-phase preparative chromatography. The structural features of their resulting aggregates were determined by Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Novel nanosized spherical vesicles formed by self-association with mean diameter about 100-200 nm were observed in FQ70 aqueous solutions whereas worm-like micelles an approximate width of 20 nm were detected in FQ90 aqueous solutions. Under experimental conditions similar to those reported for the preparation of Quillaja saponaria ISCOM matrices, tubular and ring-like micelles arose from FQ70:CHOL:PC and FQ90:CHOL:PC formulations, respectively. However, under these conditions no cage-like ISCOM matrices were observed. The saponin composition of FQ70 and FQ90 seems to determine the nanosized structures viewed by TEM. Phytolaccagenic acid, predominant in FQ70 and FQ90 fractions, is accountable for the formation of the nanosized vesicles and tubular structures observed by TEM in the aqueous solutions of both samples. Conversely, ring-like micelles observed in FQ90:CHOL:PC complexes can be attributed to the presence of less polar saponins present in FQ90, in particular those derived from oleanolic acid.

PMID:
22570933
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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