Sesquiterpene lactones

Sesquiterpene lactones are a class of chemical compounds; they are sesquiterpenoids (built from three isoprene units) and contain a lactone ring, hence the name. They are found in many plants and can cause allergic reactions and toxicity if overdosed, particularly in grazing livestock.[1]

Types

Sesquiterpene lactones can be divided into several main classes including germacranolides, heliangolides, guaianolides, pseudoguaianolides, hypocretenolides, and eudesmanolides.

Examples

Artemisinin, a new, highly-effective anti-malarial compound, is a sesquiterpene lactone found in Chinese wormwood. Lactucin, desoxylactucin, lactucopicrin, lactucin-15-oxalate, lactucopicrin-15-oxalate are some of the most prominent found in lettuce and spinach, giving most of the bitter taste to these crops.

One eudesmanolide, 3-oxo-5αH,8βH-eudesma-1,4(15),7(11)-trien-8,12-olide, can work with vernolic acid and other compounds in plants to reduce inflammation.[2]

Sesquiterpene lactone-containing plants

Some plants containing these compounds include:

See also

References

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