Two steroidal saponins from Camassia cusickii induce L1210 cell death through the apoptotic mechanism

E. Candra, K. Matsunaga, H. Fujiwara, Y. Mimaki, Y. Sashida, Toru Yamakuni, Y. Ohizumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Two steroidal saponins, tigogenin hexasaccharide-1 (TGHS-1, (25R)-5α-spirostan-3β-yl 4-O-[2-O-[3-O(α-L-rhamnopyranosyl)-β-D-glucopyranosyl]-3-O-[4-O- (α-L-rhamnopyranosyl)-β-D-glucopyranosyl]-β-D- glucopyranosyl]- β-D-galactopyranoside) and tigogenin hexasaccharide-2 (TGHS-2, (25R)-5α-spirostan-3β-yl 4-O-[2-O-[3-O- (β-D-glucopyranosyl)-β-D-glucopyranosyl]-3-O-[4-O-(α-L- rhamnopyranosyl)-β-D-glucopyranosyl]-β-D-glucopyranosyl]- β-D-galactopyranoside), were isolated from the fresh bulbs of Camassia cusickii. In murine leukemic L1210 cells, both compounds showed cytotoxicity with an EC50 value of 0.06 μM. The morphological observation revealed that TGHS-1 and TGHS-2 induced shrinkage in cell soma and chromatin condensation, suggesting apoptotic cell death. The cell death was confirmed to be apoptosis by Annexin V binding to phosphatidylserine in the cell membrane and excluding propidium iodide. A typical apoptotic DNA ladder and the cleavage of caspase-3 were observed after treatment with TGHS-1 and TGHS-2. In the presence of both the compounds, cells with sub-G1 DNA content were detected by flow cytometric analysis, indicating that TGHS-1 and TGHS-2 (each EC50 value of 0.1 μM) are the most powerful apoptotic saponins known. These results suggest that TGHS-1 and TGHS-2 induce apoptotic cell death through caspase-3 activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)953-958
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Dec 1


  • Apoptosis
  • DNA fragmentation
  • Murine leukemic L1210 cells
  • Steroidal saponin
  • Tigogenin hexasaccharide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology (medical)


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