Biological activities and applications of dioscorins,the major tuber storage proteins of yam

Yeh Lin Lu, Cho Yun Chia, Yen Wenn Liu, Wen Chi Hou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Yam tubers, a common tuber crop and an important traditional Chinese medicine in Taiwan, have many bioactive substances, including phenolic compounds, mucilage polysaccharides, steroidal saponins and proteins. Among the total soluble proteins, 80% of them are dioscorins. In the past two decades, many studies showed that dioscorins exhibited biological activities both in vitro and in vivo , including the enzymatic, antioxidant, antihypertensive, immunomodulatory, lectin activities and the protecting role on airway epithelial cells against allergens in vitro. Some of these activities are survived after chemical, heating process or enzymatic digestion. Despite of lacking the intact structural information and the detail action mechanisms in the cells, yam dioscorins are potential resources for developing as functional foods and interesting targets for food protein researchers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Allergen
  • Antihypertensive protein
  • Antioxidant
  • Dioscorin
  • Immunomodulatory
  • Lectin
  • Yam tuber storage Protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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