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Saponin biosynthesis in Holothuroidea (sea cucumber) and Asteroidea (starfish).

  • Biology
  • Animal Physiology.
  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry.


Parkeol, Lanosta-9(11),24-dien-3$\beta$-ol, was identified as the triterpene precursor of saponins which contain $\Delta\sp{9(11)}$ unsaturation from sea cucumbers and shown not to be the precursor in starfish. Further, the site of saponin biosynthesis in sea cucumber was shown to be the cuvier gland. These results were obtained by "feeding" radiolabeled precursors to live specimens of sea cucumbers and starfish and by conducting incubation experiments with cell-free extracts.

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