Trilliumosides K and L, two novel steroidal saponins from rhizomes of Trillium govanianum, as potent anti-cancer agents targeting apoptosis in the A-549 cancer cell line

Front Chem. 2023 Dec 22;11:1306271. doi: 10.3389/fchem.2023.1306271. eCollection 2023.


Two novel steroidal saponins, trilliumosides K (1) and L (2), were isolated from the rhizomes of Trillium govanianum led by bioactivity-guided phytochemical investigation along with seven known compounds: govanoside D (3), protodioscin (4), borassoside E (5), 20-hydroxyecdysone (6), 5,20-hydroxyecdysone (7), govanic acid (8), and diosgenin (9). The structure of novel compounds 1-2 was established using analysis of spectroscopic data including 1D and 2D nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and high resolution mass spectrometry (HR-ESI-MS) data. All isolated compounds were evaluated for in vitro cytotoxic activity against a panel of human cancer cell lines. Compound 1 showed significant cytotoxic activity against the A-549 (Lung) and SW-620 (Colon) cancer cell lines with IC50 values of 1.83 and 1.85 µM, respectively whereas the IC50 value of Compound 2 against the A-549 cell line was found to be 1.79 µM. Among the previously known compounds 3, 5, and 9, the cytotoxic IC50 values were found to be in the range of 5-10 µM. Comprehensive anti-cancer investigation revealed that Compound 2 inhibited in vitro migration and colony-forming capability in the A-549 cell line. Additionally, the mechanistic analysis of Compound 2 on the A-549 cell line indicated distinctive alterations in nuclear morphology, increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and decreased levels of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP). By upregulating the pro-apoptotic protein BAX and downregulating the anti-apoptotic protein BCL-2, the aforementioned actions eventually cause apoptosis, a crucial hallmark in cancer research, which activates Caspase-3. To the best of our knowledge, this study reports the first mechanistic anti-cancer evaluation of the compounds isolated from the rhizomes of T. govanianum with remarkable cytotoxic activity in the desired micromolar range.

PMID:38188932 | PMC:PMC10767554 | DOI:10.3389/fchem.2023.1306271