White to Off-White Dolid
pregnenolone and progesterone precursor
Crystallise diosgenin from acetone, and chromatograph it on Al2O3 and elute with *C6H6/Et2O (9:1), then recrystallise it from MeOH. Its solubility is ~4% in H2O and 5% in CHCl3. The acetate crystallises from AcOH with m 198o; and has  D 20 -119o (pyridine). [Marker et al. J Am Chem Soc 65 1199 1943. Mazur et al. J Am Chem Soc 82 5889 1960, Beilstein 19 IV 862.]
It is a steroidal saponin and legumes and yams are the rich sources of it. It is a notoriousprecursor of several synthetic steroidal drugs. It suppresses growth of cells andinduces apoptosis in human osteosarcoma, colon cancer, and leukemia. Its anticancermechanism is by arresting the cell cycle, disrupting the calcium homeostasis,activating p53, releasing apoptosis inducing factors, and modulating caspase-3activity. It suppresses NF-κB activation induced by TNF as a result of DNA binding,IκBα kinase activation, degradation, phosphorylation, p65 nuclear translocation,and phosphorylation. It suppresses proliferation and invasion and induces apoptosisby downregulation of cFLIP, cyclin-D1, TRAF1, COX-2, c-myc, Bfl-1/A1, BclxL,IAP1, Bcl-2, and MMP-9 (Aggarwal et al. 2008; Raju and Mehta 2008).
Aglicone of saponin dioscin. Diosgenin exists in some food supplements and herbal medicines and lowers plasma cholesterol by increasing fecal cholesterol excretion.
e and Progesterone.