Biomedical properties and origins of sesquiterpene lactones, with a focus on dehydroleucodine Article

Abood, S, Eichelbaum, S, Mustafi, S et al. (2017). Biomedical properties and origins of sesquiterpene lactones, with a focus on dehydroleucodine . NATURAL PRODUCT COMMUNICATIONS, 12(6), 995-1005. 10.1177/1934578x1701200638

cited authors

  • Abood, S; Eichelbaum, S; Mustafi, S; Veisaga, ML; López, LA; Barbieri, M


  • Dehydroleucodine, a sesquiterpene lactone, belongs to the terpenoid class of secondary metabolites. Dehydroleucodine and other Artemisia-derived phytochemicals evolved numerous biodefenses that were first co-opted for human pharmacological use by traditional cultures in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Later, these phytochemicals were modified through the use of medicinal chemical techniques to increase their potency. All sesquiterpene lactones contain an α-methylene-γ-lactone group, which confers thiol reactivity, which is responsible, in part, for their therapeutic effects. A wide range of therapeutic uses of sequiterpene lactones has been found, including anti-adipogenic, cytoprotective, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-malarial and, anti-migraine effects. Dehydroleucodine significantly inhibits differentiation of murine preadipocytes and also significantly decreases the accumulation of lipid content by a dramatic down regulation of adipogenic-specific transcriptional factors PPARγ and C-EBPα. Dehydroleucodine also inhibits secretion of matrix metalloprotease-2 (MMP-2), which is a known protease involved in migration and invasion of B16 cells. In addition to these anti-adipogenic and anticancer effects, dehydroleucodine effectively neutralizes several bacterial species, including Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aueus (MRSA) and S. epidermis (MRSE). The compound also inhibits the growth and secretion of several toxins of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, possesses gastro-protective qualities and possesses anti-parasitic properties against Trypanosoma cruzi, responsible for Chagas disease. Other sesquiterpene lactones, such as parthenolide, costunolide, and helanin, also possess significant therapeutic utility.

publication date

  • June 1, 2017

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 995

end page

  • 1005


  • 12


  • 6