Dammarane-type saponins from Gynostemma pentaphyllum and their anti-aging activities via up-regulating mitochondria related proteins

Hai Zhen Liang, Peng Xin Lu, Li Li Chu, Gang Li, Chuan Biao Li, Xiao Juan Chen, Jie Zhang, Juan Song, Tao Zhang, Ying Luo, Ying Hu*, Bai Ping Ma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The importance of mitochondria in regulation of aging has been extensively recognized and confirmed. Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Thunb.) Makino, a homology of medicine and food, has been widely utilized as dietary supplement. In this study, the transcriptome of normal cells (wild type mouse embryo fibroblasts) regulated by the 30% aqueous EtOH extract of G. pentaphyllum was firstly evaluated by RNA sequencing and the results revealed that the G. pentaphyllum could up-regulate the genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and sirtuin (SIRT) signaling pathways, indicating its effect in promoting cell viability might be attributed to the role of improving mitochondrial functions. To further discover the bioactive compounds, sixteen undescribed dammarane-type saponins along with twenty-eight known analogues were isolated from the active extract of G. pentaphyllum. Their structures were elucidated by means of comprehensive analysis of NMR and HRMS spectroscopic data. All isolates were evaluated for the regulatory effects on SIRT3 and translocase of the outer membrane 20 (TOM20), and thirteen of them exhibited satisfactory agonist activities on both SIRT3 and TOM20 at 5 μM. Furthermore, the preliminary structure-activity relationships analysis demonstrated the additional hydroxymethyl and carbonyl groups or less sugar residues in saponins could contribute positively to the up-regulatory effect on SIRT3 and TOM20. These findings encouraged the potential roles of G. pentaphyllum and its bioactive saponins in the development of natural drugs for the treatment of aging-related diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113744
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Cucurbitaceae
  • Dammarane-type saponins
  • Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Thunb.) Makino
  • Mitochondria
  • SIRT3
  • TOM20


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