Examination for estrogenic activities of soyasaponin I and related compounds

Junei Kinjo, Keiko Morito, Ryota Tsuchihashi, Toshiharu Hirose, Tohru Aomori, Masafumi Okawa, Hikaru Okabe, Toshihiro Nohara, Yukito Masamune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


The estrogenic activities, i.e., i) the binding ability to human estrogen receptors (hERs) α and β, ii) the effect on hER-dependent β-galactosidase induction, and iii) the effect on the estrogen-dependent growth of MCF-7 cells, of soybean saponin [soyasaponin I (1)] and related compounds [soyasapogenol B (3) and its monoglucuronide (2)] were investigated, since the amount of saponins in soybean is more than that of isoflavones which are known as phytoestrogen. The estrogenic activities of soybean saponins and related compounds were less than those of isoflavones. The binding and β-galactosidase-inducive behavior of compounds 1-3 was similar to that of tamoxifen which is known as an estrogen antagonist. However, their antagonistic activity was far less potent than that of tamoxifen. Contrary to the antagonistic activity, compounds 1-3 inhibited hER-dependent growth of MCF-7 cells. Especially, the sapogenol (3) showed anti-proliferative activity (IC 50 < 1 μM) against MCF-7 cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-197
Number of pages5
JournalNatural Medicines
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Oct
Externally publishedYes



  • hER binding
  • hER-dependent β-galactosidase induction
  • hER-dependent MCF-7 cell growth
  • Human estrogen receptor (hER) α and β
  • Soyasapogenol B
  • Soyasaponin I

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine

Cite this

Kinjo, J., Morito, K., Tsuchihashi, R., Hirose, T., Aomori, T., Okawa, M., Okabe, H., Nohara, T., & Masamune, Y. (2004). Examination for estrogenic activities of soyasaponin I and related compounds. Natural Medicines, 58(5), 193-197.