Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 235–270 | Cite as

Naturally occurring furanoditerpenoids: distribution, chemistry and their pharmacological activities

  • Han Bao
  • Qingwen Zhang
  • Yang Ye
  • Ligen LinEmail author


Furanoditerpenoids are a special group of diterpenoids composing of one or more furan rings, which are rarely found in nature. This review aims to survey the various naturally occurring furanoditerpenoids and their pharmacological activities. A fairly large number of furanoditerpenoids have been reported from the families Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae and Lamiaceae, and a few ones from the families Asteraceae, Codoniaceae, Dioscoreaceae, Fossombroniaceae, Jamesoniellaceae, Meliaceae, Menispermaceae, Olacaceae, Psathyrellaceae, Sapindaceae and Scapaniaceae. Their distribution correlates strongly with the taxonomic divisions. Most of these plants are widely used in traditional medicines, and furanoditerpenoids have therefore been disclosed with a wide range of bioactivities including anti-cancer, anti-inflammation and anti-microorganism. To structure this review, the furanoditerpenoids were classified into seven types, including clerodane-type (Type I), labdane-type (Type II), cassane-type (Type III), abietane-type (Type IV), spongian-type (Type V), prenylbisabolane-type (Type VI) and miscellaneous type (Type VII). On the basis of 170 references, this review covers the distribution, phytochemistry, synthesis and pharmacological activities of furanoditerpenoids, describing 444 compounds. The information provided in this review might shed light on further research and development of furanoditerpenoids as potential therapeutic agents.


Furanoditerpenoids Distribution Phytochemistry Biological properties 



Circular dichroism




Diisobutylaluminium hydride








κ-opioid receptor


Lithium aluminium hydride




Minimum inhibitory concentration


Nuclear magnetic resonance


Nitric oxide


Pyridinium chlorochromate


Postprandial hyperglycemia


Tetra-n-butylammonium fluoride




Trifluoroacetic acid





Financial support by Science and Technology Development Fund, Macao S.A.R (FDCT 120/2013/A3) and the Research Fund of University of Macau (MYRG2014-00020-ICMS-QRCM and MYRG2015-00153-ICMS-QRCM) are gratefully.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical SciencesUniversity of Macau, Avenida da UniversidadeTaipaChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Drug Research, Shanghai Institute of Materia MedicaChinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiChina

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