Sesquiterpenoids are C15 compounds composed of three isoprene units and are a structurally diverse group of natural products. Thousands of sesquiterpenoids with more than 100 skeleton types have been identified. In terms of carbon skeleton, the main sesquiterpenes with antibacterial and antifungal activities are red myrrhane, guaiacane, eudesmane, eremophilane, carrotane, lindenane, germacrane, cadinane, farnsane, chamigrane, pseudoguaiane, drimane, aromadendane drimane, aromadendrane, cuparane, daucane, illudalane, olpopanane, picrotoxane, rhodolaurane, and other types.
The mechanisms of action of antibiotics on bacteria mainly include affecting cell wall synthesis (β-lactams) and disruption of bacterial membranes, interaction with ribosomal subunits (tetracyclines, chloramphenicol, aminoglycosides, etc.), disruption of nucleic acid action (rifampicin, fluoroquinolones) and interference with metabolic pathways (folic acid analogs, sulfonamides). Corresponding mechanisms of bacterial resistance include accelerated antibiotic efflux through bacterial efflux pumps; alteration of the structure of bacterial pore proteins to reduce bacterial permeability to antibiotic influx; and hydrolase disruption of antimicrobial agents to alter the antibiotic binding site. The main mechanisms of antifungal action involve interference with substance transport, yeast-to-mycorrhizal transition, host immunity, and redox. Natural products with good inhibitory activity against both bacteria and fungi have promising applications in the development of future antifungal drugs.
In vitro anticancer potential of sesquiterpenes against human uterine adenocarcinoma (Hela cells). It also inhibited lung cancer (A549 cells), liver cancer (HepG2 cells), colon cancer (SW480 cells), cervical cancer (Hela cells), breast cancer (MCF-7 cells) and gastric cancer (MNK-45 cells). Sesquiterpenes inhibit ROS production, activate AMPK, inhibit NF-κB pathway and induce cell cycle arrest.
Sesquiterpene treatment may improve cardiac function and protect the heart. Cardioprotection is achieved through inhibition of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation, inhibition of NF-κB inflammatory pathway, and activation of HO-1 and Nrf2.
Common progressive neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) are strongly associated with inflammation, oxidative stress and neurological damage. Sesquiterpenoids may be potential neuroprotective agents whose neuroprotective effects are mediated in part by inhibiting inflammatory responses and accelerating the activity of endogenous antioxidant enzymes.
Obesity is the result of an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. It is a major risk factor for many diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and fatty liver. Inhibition of α-glucosidase has been an effective strategy to reduce postprandial blood glucose levels and control type 2 diabetes. Sesquiterpenoids and their derivatives have shown clear inhibitory effects on α-glucosidase activity and delayed the increase in postprandial glucose levels.
Sesquiterpenes showed significant inhibitory effects on platelet aggregation induced by collagen, thrombin and arachidonic acid.
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