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Sesquiterpene with three isoprene units is a terpenoid with the general formula C15H24, which mostly conforms to the isoprene rule. Sesquiterpene compounds are widely distributed and are most abundant in plants of the Magnoliaceae, Rutaceae, Cornucopiaceae, and Asterales families (asterales). Generally, sesquiterpenes occur as oxygenated derivatives in volatile oils, such as alcohols, ketones and lactones, which mainly constitute the high-boiling part of volatile oils with strong aroma and biological activity, and are important raw materials for pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries.
(1) Farnesol, an open-chain sesquiterpenoid, is found in the volatile oils of aromatic plants, such as lemongrass, neroli, rose, etc. Farnesol is a colorless, oily liquid that is a valuable fragrance with insect larval hormone activity. Once the amount of insect larval hormone is too much, it will inhibit the metamorphosis and maturation of insects.
(2) Germacrone, also known as geranylgeranyl flavonoid, is present in the volatile oil of Rhododendron hindii (Rhododendron) leaves and is a decameric cyclic monoterpene. Rhododendron volatile oil has the effect of treating cough, sputum and asthma, and is useful for treating chronic bronchitis. Rhododendron ketone has a melting point of 56-57℃ and is the main component.
(3) Guaiacol. A sesquiterpene component, present in the volatile oil of tribulus terrestris plant guaiacol, geranium volatile oil. Guaiacol is a blue needle-like crystals, its melting point is 31℃, has anti-inflammatory effect and promote wound healing. It is one of the main ingredients of domestic burn ointment.
The summary of the tested sesquiterpene antitumor activity found that sesquiterpene has activity on different tumors, such as in vitro inhibition of human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells (KB cells), human epithelial carcinoma (HEPZ), normal human diploid fibroblasts (w1-38) human provirus 40-variant cells (W-18Va-2), HeLa cells, normal rabbit kidney cells (RKB), Ehrlich ascites Ls17eY lymphoma cells, mouse L-1210 lymphocytic leukemia, etc.; in vivo inhibition of Waiker sarcoma 256 in rats, mouse leukemia P-388, solid tumor Sa-180, Ehrlich ascites carcinoma, mouse sarcoma 37, mouse cervical carcinoma U and mouse exudative leukemia L1210, etc.
Sesquiterpenes with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties are mainly found in the Asteraceae family, among which the genera Aesculus, Cornflower, Yarrow, Zelenia, Silver Amylospermum, Arnica, Vicoa and Zoegea are more widely distributed, in addition, a series of sesquiterpenes with antibacterial effects are also found in invertebrates, seaweeds and other marine organisms. From their structural types, there are mainly sesquiterpene lactones, sesquiterpene alcohols, halogenated sesquiterpenes and isonitrile sesquiterpenes, which are rare in nature, found in sponges.
Artemisinin is the active antimalarial component obtained from Artemisia annua. It has a direct killing effect on the intraerythrocytic stage of Plasmodium falciparum. And the peroxy bridge in the molecule is its active group, which can completely inhibit the activity of cytochrome oxidase.