Hecogenin found in plants
October 23 2015 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Hecogenin is a plant steroid. The steroidal saponin hecogenin (3-O-beta-xylopyranosyl(1-->3)-beta-glucopyranosyl(1-->4)-beta-galactopyr anoside) is found in tribulus terrestris, Agave sisalana, and other plants.

Hecogenin Research
Eur J Pharmacol. 2012. Effects of hecogenin and its possible mechanism of action on experimental models of gastric ulcer in mice. This study investigates the gastroprotective effects of hecogenin, a steroid saponin isolated from Agave sisalana, on experimental models of gastric ulcer.

Different contribution of apoptosis to the antiproliferative effects of diosgenin and other plant steroids, hecogenin and tigogenin, on human 1547 osteosarcoma cells. Int J Oncol. 2003. Laboratoire de Biochimie, UPRES EA, Faculte de Pharmacie, Limoges Cedex, France.
Regulation of growth arrest and apoptosis are, in part, controlled by the tumor suppressor p53 after its phosphorylation which causes a determinant role in its functional activation. Moreover, PPAR regulate many functions such as proliferation and apoptosis. We compared the biological activity of diosgenin with hecogenin and tigogenin, plant steroids structurally close to diosgenin, on proliferation rate, cell cycle distribution and apoptosis in human 1547 osteosarcoma cells. We found that all three molecules have an antiproliferative effect but gel shift analysis demonstrated that none of the plant steroids transactivated PPAR in human 1547 osteosarcoma cells whereas these molecules induced NF-kappaB binding to DNA. Although these plant steroids have a very close structure, only diosgenin caused a cell cycle arrest associated with strong apoptosis. This biological action seems correlated with a large increase of p53 protein expression. This fact was showed by immunofluorescence analysis which confirmed that diosgenin strongly enhanced the activation of p53 in contrast to hecogenin and tigogenin actions.

Q. I have been doing research on Hecogenin from the plant agave Sisal in India where we are having ample quantity avaliable. I am facing the problem of the information on the said topic the main problem is all the research which have been done this subject is very old like in the year 1960 or 1970 so i am a bit worried about the same. My greatest concern is in 2006 what is the status of Hecogenin as it used as a starting material for manufacturing of Steroids. I would be highly obliged if you could provide with the information or any link from where i can get the information.