Structure-Activity Relationship Study of Momordica Saponin II Derivatives as Vaccine Adjuvants

Academic Article


  • VSA-2 is a recently developed semisynthetic saponin immunostimulant. It is prepared by incorporating a terminal-functionalized side chain to the branched trisaccharide domain at the C3 position of Momordica saponin II (MS II) isolated from the seeds of perennial Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng. Direct comparison of VSA-2 and the clinically proven saponin adjuvant QS-21 shows that VSA-2 is comparable to QS-21 in enhancing humoral and cellular immune responses. Structure-activity relationship studies show that structural changes in the side chain have a significant impact on saponins' adjuvant activity. However, with the VSA-2 molecular framework intact, the new VSA-2 analogues with various substitution(s) at the terminal benzyl group of the side chain retain the ability of potentiating antigen-specific humoral and cellular responses.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kim H; Bai D; Ghosh S; Franks ML; Wang X; Yan C; Liu Z; Zhang P; Michalek SM; Leavenworth JW
  • Start Page

  • 14589
  • End Page

  • 14598
  • Volume

  • 65
  • Issue

  • 21