Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 4, Issue 2–3, pp 151–158 | Cite as

Saponins in Calendula officinalis L. – Structure, Biosynthesis, Transport and Biological Activity

  • Anna Szakiel
  • Dariusz Ruszkowski
  • Wirginia JaniszowskaEmail author


Trends in research on Calendula officinalis L. saponins performed in Department of Plant Biochemistry at Warsaw University are reviewed. Calendula officinalis, a well known medicinal plant, contains significant amounts of oleanane saponins, which form two distinct series of related compounds, called “glucosides” and “glucuronides” according to the structure of the respective precursor. Both series differ in the pathway of their biosynthesis and further metabolism, i.e. the rate of formation and stages of possible degradation; distribution in the single cell and in the whole plant, including accumulation sites; and the possible physiological role played in the plant according to appropriate biological activities.

Key words

biosynthesis oleanolic acid glycosides structure transport 



adenosine 5′-diphosphate


adenosine 5′-triphosphate






glucuronic acid


mevalonic acid


oleanolic acid


inorganic phosphate


inorganic pyrophosphate


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Szakiel
    • 1
  • Dariusz Ruszkowski
    • 1
  • Wirginia Janiszowska
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Plant BiochemistryWarsaw UniversityWarszawaPoland

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