Author(s): Fagbohun, O.F., Joseph, J.S., Oriyomi, O.V., Rupasinghe, H.P.V.

Source: Mar. Drugs 2023, 21, 262.

Abstract: Frondosides are the major saponins (triterpene glycosides) of the North Atlantic sea cucumber (Cucumaria frondosa). Frondosides possess amphiphilic characteristics due to the presence of various hydrophilic sugar moieties and hydrophobic genin (sapogenin). Saponins are abundant in holothurians, especially in sea cucumbers that are widely distributed across the Northern Atlantic Ocean. Over 300 triterpene glycosides have been isolated, identified, and categorized from many species of sea cucumbers. Furthermore, specific saponins from C. frondosa are broadly classified into frondosides, fallaxosides, lefevreiosides, cucumariosides, and colochirosides. Recent studies have shown that frondoside-containing extracts from C. frondosa exhibit anticancer, anti-obesity, anti-hyperuricemic, anticoagulant, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiangiogenic, antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, and immunomodulatory activities. However, the exact mechanism(s) of action of biological activities of frondosides is not clearly understood. The function of some frondosides as chemical defense molecules need to be understood. Therefore, this review discusses the different frondosides of C. frondosa and their potential therapeutic activities in relation to the postulated mechanism(s) of action. In addition, recent advances in emerging extraction techniques of frondosides and other saponins and future perspectives are discussed.

Keywords: sea cucumber; saponins; frondoside A; triterpenes; glycosides; Cucumaria frondosa