Cucurbitane-type glycosides from the fruits of Momordica charantia and their hypoglycaemic and cytotoxic activities

Li Jie Zhang, Chia Ching Liaw, Ping Chun Hsiao, Hui Chi Huang, Ming Jen Lin, Zhi Hu Lin, Feng Lin Hsu, Yao Haur Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Eight new cucurbitane-type glycosides, kuguasaponins A-H (1-8), and six known compounds (9-14), were isolated by the bioassay-directed fractionation of the fruits of Momordica charantia. The structures of the compounds were established via spectroscopic analyses, including NMR, IR, and MS techniques. The stereochemistry of the isolated cucurbitanes was further determined using X-ray crystallographic analysis, NOESY experiments, and acid hydrolysis, as well as comparison with the cucurbitanes reported in the literature. The HPLC profiles of the active fraction by an ELSD detector were established and used to identify the 7 main peaks of the isolated cucurbitanes. Pharmacological studies on the anti-hyperglycaemic effects revealed that compounds 2, 3, 7, 8, and 13 exhibited strong bioactivities at 10. μM based on the glucose uptake assay. In addition, compounds 2-5, and 14 exhibited moderate cytotoxicity against MCF-7, Doay, HEp-2, and WiDr human tumour cell lines and no activity against the M10 cell line.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)564-574
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Functional Foods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Cucurbitane
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Hypoglycaemic activity
  • Kuguasaponins
  • Momordica charantia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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