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Recent developments in the bioactivity of mono- and diterpenes: anticancer and antimicrobial activity

Abstract

Secondary plant metabolites, and in particular monoterpenes, have been recognised as potential medicinal agents for centuries. As such, terpenes have been the focus of a plethora of scientific studies examining various aspects of their bioactivity. In particular, antimicrobial activity and anticancer potential have been studied extensively. Whilst the antimicrobial and anticancer activity of terpenes has been demonstrated in vitro, fewer studies have been conducted examining specific aspects of the mechanisms of antimicrobial action and anticancer efficacy in vivo. The purpose of this review is therefore to examine recent advances in the areas of antimicrobial and anticancer activity.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Dr C. Locher (UWA) for providing the chemical structures. S. J. Greay and K. A. Hammer received financial support from Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), Australia.

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Correspondence to Katherine A. Hammer.

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Greay, S.J., Hammer, K.A. Recent developments in the bioactivity of mono- and diterpenes: anticancer and antimicrobial activity. Phytochem Rev 14, 1–6 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11101-011-9212-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11101-011-9212-6

Keywords

  • Essential oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Antibacterial
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Antitumour