Pro-Inflammatory, Tumour-Promoting and Anti-Tumour Diterpenes of the Plant Families Euphorbiaceae and Thymelaeaceae

  • F. J. Evans
  • S. E. Taylor
Part of the Fortschritte der Chemie organischer Naturstoffe / Progress in the Chemistry of Organic Natural Products book series (FORTCHEMIE (closed), volume 44)


Plants and plant products have been used as drugs for thousands of years and in recent history have provided a definite stimulus for the development of natural product chemistry. However, the contribution that plant chemicals have made to the understanding of biochemistry, physiology and pharmacology is often overlooked. Secondary plant metabolites are useful tools for the investigation of biological systems and even of diseased states. The isolation and final structure elucidation of the tumour-promoting phorbol-12,13-diesters from the seed oil of Croton tiglium by Erich Hecker (1), nearly 15 years ago, initiated intensive research into the pro-inflammatory and tumour-promoting diterpenes of the plant families Euphorbiaceae and Thymelaeaceae. These pure compounds have been instrumental in furthering our understanding of the diseases of cancer and inflammation.


Phorbol Ester Cyclopropane Ring Tetrahedron Letter Acyl Substituent Positive Cotton Effect 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. J. Evans
    • 1
  • S. E. Taylor
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacognosy, The School of PharmacyUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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