Atropurosides A–G, new steroidal saponins fromSmilacina atropurpurea

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Atropurosides A–G (1–7), seven new steroidal saponins, which possess new polyhydroxylated aglycones, were isolated from the rhizomes of Smilacina atropurpurea (Convallariaceae), together with a known saponin, dioscin (8). Their structures were elucidated on the basis of detailed spectroscopic analysis, including 1D and 2D NMR techniques and chemical methods. Antifungal testing of the eight compounds indicated that atropurosides B (2) and F (6) were fungicidal against Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Aspergillus fumigatus with minimum fungicidal concentrations (MFCs) ≤20 μg/ml, while dioscin (8) was selectively active against C. albicans and C. glabrata (MFC ≤ 5.0 μg/ml). Furthermore, the antifungal saponins 2, 6, and 8 were evaluated for their in vitro cytotoxicities in a panel of human cancer cell lines (SK-MEL, KB, BT-549, SK-OV-3, and HepG2) and non-cancerous Vero cells. All showed moderate cytotoxicities. It appears that the antifungal activity of these steroidal saponins correlates with their cytotoxicity against mammalian cells.

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