Saponins are extensively known for many biological activities e.g. antimicrobial, anti-palatability, anti-cancer and hemolytic. As cancer cells have a more cholesterol-like compound in their membrane structure the saponins bind cholesterol due to their natural affinity to bind cancer cell membrane. This prevents them from entering the body through the intestinal tract, where they have the ability to attach themselves to vital organs and grow. This study reports the effective use of lower dose saponins like immunotoxin so that they can inhibit the proliferation of cancerous pancreatic cells. The investigation of pancreatic cancer metabolic pathway it was found that proteins 3H3B produced by genes HER-2 are involved in the enhancement of this type of cancer. Further docking studies showed that there is an effective interaction between saponins and cancer cells. The glide score of the saponin analogue compound with CID 21573770 (Pubchem) was -6.30 followed by score of -6.05 and -5.29 for 5-Florouracil and gemcitabine respectively. The interaction was observed in the GLU and GLN rich region, saponins made H-bonds with GLU-188, GLN-119, VAL-72 and GLN-71. This study indicates an effective way towards leading newer prospects for developing saponin analogue based cancer-fighting drugs with improved cancer cell inhibition property without killing normal cells.
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Singh, P., Shukla, P. A prelude report on molecular docking of HER2 protein towards comprehending anti-cancer properties of saponins from Solanum tuberosum . Nat Prec (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/npre.2012.7147.1