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ISSN: 2210-2892 ― Volume 10, 2020

Whole Cell Biocatalyst for Soyasapogenol B Production from Soybean Saponin

Hala A. Amin1, *, Mostafa M. Abo Elsoud2, 3, Ahmed. F. Sahab4
1 Chemistry of Natural and Microbial Products Department, National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt
2 Microbial Biotechnology Department, National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt
3 Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Pilot Plant Unit, National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt
4 Plant Pathology Department, National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt


Soyasapogenol B (SB), aglycone of soybean saponin, is known to have hepatoprotective, antimutagenic, antivirus, and anti-inflammatory activities. This research examined the use of whole-cell biocatalyst to produce SB from soybean saponin. It was found that Aspergillus flavus, a fungus isolated from peanut pods, was capable of expressing extracellular and intracellular saponin hydrolase enzyme. However, the total enzyme activity produced using fungal whole cells (37U) in the reaction mixture was about 3 times that produced using the extracellular (12.4U) or intracellular (11.5U) enzyme. Cells with maximum hydrolytic activity for production of SB (12.2 U/g) was obtained using production medium supplemented by 2% soybean saponin, as inducer for enzyme production, adjusted at pH 9 and incubated at 30°C for 2 days. The highest yield of SB was achieved when the reaction mixture was incubated at pH 5.5 and 45°C for 48h; using 20% wet cells (corresponding to 4% cell dry weight) and soybean saponin (2%, w/v) as a substrate. Under these optimal conditions, the cells bioconversion efficiency (SB yield) increased from 5.3 to 60%. Whole cell biocatalyst has several advantages with regard to industrial applications: a consistent quality, easy to be prepared and a very low price compared with purified enzyme. Consequently, this study is significant for production of SB from soybean saponin on an industrial scale.

Keywords: Aspergillus flavus, Saponin Hydrolase, Soyasapogenol B, Soybean Saponin.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2016
Volume: 7
First Page: 134
Last Page: 143
Publisher Id: TOPROCJ-7-1-134
DOI: 10.2174/2210289201607010134

Article History:

Received Date: 10/08/2015
Revision Received Date: 22/05/2016
Acceptance Date: 18/07/2016
Electronic publication date: 08/09/2016
Collection year: 2016

©Amin et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Chemistry of Natural and Microbial Products Department, National Research Center, Cairo, 12622, Egypt; Tel: +202-33464472; Fax: +202-37622603; E-mail:

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