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Abstract

The phylum Echinodermata, which comprises about 6,000 living species distributed in all seas from the tropics to the antarctic zone, is divided into five classes: Crinoidea (sea lilies and feather stars), Holothuroidea (sea cucumbers or holothurians), Echinoidea (sea urchins), Asteroidea (sea stars or starfishes) and Ophiuroidea (brittle stars). Among the echinoderms, sea cucumbers and starfishes invariably contain saponins which are generally responsible for their toxicity. Saponins, complex water soluble compounds composed of a carbohydrate moiety attached to a steroid or triterpenoid aglycone, have been isolated from a great number of terrestrial plants, but are uncommon animal constituents. In the animal kingdom they are almost ubiquitous in sea cucumbers and starfishes (1), while found only rarely in alcyonarians (2), gorgonians (3-5), sponges (6-10) and as potent shark-repelling compounds in fishes (11). Chemically, saponins from sea cucumbers are triterpenoid glycosides whereas those from starfishes are steroidal glycosides.

Keywords

Physical Data Inhibit Cell Division Steroidal Glycoside MTPA Ester Saccharide Chain 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Minale
    • 1
  • R. Riccio
    • 1
  • F. Zollo
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Chimica delle Sostanze Naturali Università di Napoli “Federico II”NapoliItaly

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