Terpenoids are a large class of isoprenoids (isoprenoids) that are widely found in nature and are mainly isolated from plants, microorganisms, and marine organisms. It is an important component of the fragrance, resin, and pigment that make up certain plants and so on. Terpenoids can be extracted from the flowers, fruits, leaves, stems, and roots of plants. They have certain physiological activities, such as expectorant, cough-relieving, wind-driving and analgesic effects.
Common terpenoids are classified into monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenoids, triterpenoids, tetraterpenoids and polyterpenes by the number of isoprene molecules. Monoterpenes refer to compounds containing C=10 carbon atoms, which are synthesized from two basic units of isoprene. It is classified into chain monoterpenes and cyclic monoterpenoids, and belongs to the class of low quinone compounds, which are present in Compositae, Pinaceae, Cedariaceae, Lauraceae, Magnoliaceae, etc.
Diterpenoids are those which contain C=20 carbon atoms and are polymerized from four basic units of isoprene. It is divided into chain and cyclic diterpenoids, most of which are present in resin or vegetable milk, and are distributed in the oleander, asclepiadaceae, and scrophulariaceae. Triterpenoids are synthesized from six basic units of isoprene containing C=30 carbon atoms. It is divided into chain and cyclic triterpenoids, mainly in the form of resin and saponins in Cucurbitaceae and so on.
Taxol is a tetracyclic diterpenoid compound isolated from the bark and wood of Taxus chinensis. It has good therapeutic effect on ovarian cancer and breast cancer. Taxol can inhibit microtubule depolymerization and stable polymerization. Lasiodin is a diterpenoid compound isolated from Rabdosia serra (Maxim.) Hara. Lasiodin inhibits its invasion and migration by down-regulating the expression of MMP2 and induces apoptosis in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells in a short period of time. Cucurbitacin B (CuB) is a triterpenoid isolated from Cucurbitaceae and other plants. CuB induces apoptosis by inducing DNA damage and G2/M arrest. In addition, triterpenoids such as ganoderic acid, betulinic acid, and ursolic acid can inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells to exert anti-tumor effects.
Terpenes have important biological functions and application values. Modern medical research has found that many apes have a wide range of anti-cancer effects. The illudin S and its analog irufloven, which are derived from the fungus Lampteromyces japonicus (Kawan.) Sing, are effective in inhibiting DNA synthesis in metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Taxol, a tricyclic diterpenoid compound in Taxus plants, has obvious curative effect on ovarian cancer and breast cancer. Cucurbitacin, a triterpenoid from Cucurbitaceae, can inhibit the growth of cancer cells and can be used in cancer treatment together with other anticancer drugs. Among them, cucurbitacin E has a function of inhibiting proliferation of cancer cells, and the results have been confirmed in bladder cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, and leukemia. In addition to being confirmed to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities, cucurbitacin B can also inhibit the growth of human malignant tumor cells, including breast cancer cells, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, osteosarcoma and myeloid leukemia.
In addition, many plant-derived terpenoids are aromatic volatile substances and are therefore widely used in industries such as perfumes, perfumes, flavorings and cosmetics. Aromatic steroids such as nootkatone, sclareol, menthol and linalool are important constituents of plant essential oils and are also sources of odors such as fruit aromas and plant scent. Therefore, they are commonly used in aromatic foods and essential oils.