Fast Centrifugal Partition Chromatography Fractionation of Concentrated Agave (Agave salmiana) Sap to Obtain Saponins with Apoptotic Effect on Colon Cancer Cells
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© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Separation of potentially bioactive components from foods and plant extracts is one of the main challenges for their study. Centrifugal partition chromatography has been a successful technique for the screening and identification of molecules with bioactive potential, such as steroidal saponins. Agave is a source of steroidal saponins with anticancer potential, though the activity of these compounds in concentrated agave sap has not been yet explored. In this study, fast centrifugal partition chromatography (FCPC) was used coupled with in vitro tests on HT-29 cells as a screening procedure to identify apoptotic saponins from an acetonic extract of concentrated agave sap. The three most bioactive fractions obtained by FCPC at partition coefficients between 0.23 and 0.4 contained steroidal saponins, predominantly magueyoside b. Flow cytometry analysis determined that the fraction rich in kammogenin and manogenin glycosides induced apoptosis, but when gentrogenin and hecogenin glycosides were also found in the fraction, a necrotic effect was observed. In conclusion, this study provides the evidence that steroidal saponins in concentrated agave sap were potential inductors of apoptosis and that it was possible to separate them using fast centrifugal partition chromatography.