Pharmacol Res. 2020 Aug 21:105165. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2020.105165. Online ahead of print.
Sesquiterpenes belongs to the largest group of plant secondary metabolites consisting of three isoprene building units. These compounds are widely distributed in various angiosperms, a few gymnosperms and bryophytes. Sesquiterpenes and their allied derivatives are bio-synthesized in various plant parts including leaves, fruits and roots. These plant-based metabolites are predominantly identified in the Asteraceae family, wherein up to 5000 complexes have been documented to date. Sesquiterpenes
and their derivatives are characteristically associated with plant defence mechanisms owing to their antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral activities. Over the last two decades, these compounds have been reportedly demonstrated health promoting perspectives against a wide range of metabolic syndromes i.e. hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular complications, neural disorders, diabetes, and cancer. The high potential of sesquiterpenes and their derivatives against various cancers like breast, colon, bladder, pancreatic, prostate, cervical, brain, liver, blood, ovarium, bone, endometrial, oral, lung, eye, stomach and kidney are the object of this review. Predominantly, it recapitulates the literature elucidating sesquiterpenes and their derivatives while highlighting the mechanistic approaches associated with their potent anticancer activities such as modulating nuclear factor kappa (NF-kB) activity, inhibitory action against lipid peroxidation and retarding the production of reactive oxygen & nitrogen species (RO&NS).