Recent advancements in deciphering the therapeutic properties of plant secondary metabolites: phenolics, terpenes, and alkaloids

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Plant Physiol Biochem. 2024 Apr 30;211:108674. doi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2024.108674. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

Plants produce a diverse range of secondary metabolites that serve as defense compounds against a wide range of biotic and abiotic stresses. In addition, their potential curative attributes in addressing various human diseases render them valuable in the development of pharmaceutical drugs. Different secondary metabolites including phenolics, terpenes, and alkaloids have been investigated for their antioxidant and therapeutic potential. A vast number of studies evaluated the specific compounds that possess crucial medicinal properties (such as antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, anticancerous, and antibacterial), their mechanisms of action, and potential applications in pharmacology and medicine. Therefore, an attempt has been made to characterize the secondary metabolites studied in medicinal plants, a brief overview of their biosynthetic pathways and mechanisms of action along with their signaling pathways by which they regulate various oxidative stress-related diseases in humans. Additionally, the biotechnological approaches employed to enhance their production have also been discussed. The outcome of the present review will lead to the development of novel and effective phytomedicines in the treatment of various ailments.

PMID:38705044 | DOI:10.1016/j.plaphy.2024.108674