In vitro evaluation and molecular docking of QS-21 and quillaic acid from Quillaja saponaria Molina as gastric cancer agents

Leda Guzmán, Katherine Villalón, María José Marchant, María Elena Tarnok, Pilar Cárdenas, Gisela Aquea, WALDO ANDRES ACEVEDO CASTILLO, Leandro Padilla, Giuliano Bernal, Aurora Molinari, Alejandro Corvalán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The cytotoxic mechanism of the saponin QS-21 and its aglycone quillaic acid (QA) was studied on human gastric cancer cells (SNU1 and KATO III). Both compounds showed in vitro cytotoxic activity with IC50 values: 7.1 μM (QS-21) and 13.6 μM (QA) on SNU1 cells; 7.4 μM (QS-21) and 67 μM (QA) on KATO III cells. QS-21 and QA induce apoptosis on SNU1 and KATO III, as demonstrated by TUNEL, Annexin-V and Caspase Assays. Additionally, we performed in silico docking studies simulating the binding of both triterpenic compounds to key proteins involved in apoptotic pathways. The binding energies (∆Gbin) thus calculated, suggest that the pro-apoptotic protein Bid might be a plausible target involved in the apoptotic effect of both triterpenic compounds. Although QA shows some antiproliferative effects on SNU1 cells cultured in vitro, our results suggest that QS-21 is a more powerful antitumor agent, which merits further investigation regarding their properties as potential therapeutic agents for gastric cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10534
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

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