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      Sesquiterpenoids Lactones: Benefits to Plants and People

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          Abstract

          Sesquiterpenoids, and specifically sesquiterpene lactones from Asteraceae, may play a highly significant role in human health, both as part of a balanced diet and as pharmaceutical agents, due to their potential for the treatment of cardiovascular disease and cancer. This review highlights the role of sesquiterpene lactones endogenously in the plants that produce them, and explores mechanisms by which they interact in animal and human consumers of these plants. Several mechanisms are proposed for the reduction of inflammation and tumorigenesis at potentially achievable levels in humans. Plants can be classified by their specific array of produced sesquiterpene lactones, showing high levels of translational control. Studies of folk medicines implicate sesquiterpene lactones as the active ingredient in many treatments for other ailments such as diarrhea, burns, influenza, and neurodegradation. In addition to the anti-inflammatory response, sesquiterpene lactones have been found to sensitize tumor cells to conventional drug treatments. This review explores the varied ecological roles of sesquiterpenes in the plant producer, depending upon the plant and the compound. These include allelopathy with other plants, insects, and microbes, thereby causing behavioural or developmental modification to these secondary organisms to the benefit of the sesquiterpenoid producer. Some sesquiterpenoid lactones are antimicrobial, disrupting the cell wall of fungi and invasive bacteria, whereas others protect the plant from environmental stresses that would otherwise cause oxidative damage. Many of the compounds are effective due to their bitter flavor, which has obvious implications for human consumers. The implications of sesquiterpenoid lactone qualities for future crop production are discussed.

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          Most cited references 137

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          Plant sesquiterpenes induce hyphal branching in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.

          Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi form mutualistic, symbiotic associations with the roots of more than 80% of land plants. The fungi are incapable of completing their life cycle in the absence of a host root. Their spores can germinate and grow in the absence of a host, but their hyphal growth is very limited. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms that govern signalling and recognition between AM fungi and their host plants. In one of the first stages of host recognition, the hyphae of AM fungi show extensive branching in the vicinity of host roots before formation of the appressorium, the structure used to penetrate the plant root. Host roots are known to release signalling molecules that trigger hyphal branching, but these branching factors have not been isolated. Here we have isolated a branching factor from the root exudates of Lotus japonicus and used spectroscopic analysis and chemical synthesis to identify it as a strigolactone, 5-deoxy-strigol. Strigolactones are a group of sesquiterpene lactones, previously isolated as seed-germination stimulants for the parasitic weeds Striga and Orobanche. The natural strigolactones 5-deoxy-strigol, sorgolactone and strigol, and a synthetic analogue, GR24, induced extensive hyphal branching in germinating spores of the AM fungus Gigaspora margarita at very low concentrations.
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            Inhibition of shoot branching by new terpenoid plant hormones.

            Shoot branching is a major determinant of plant architecture and is highly regulated by endogenous and environmental cues. Two classes of hormones, auxin and cytokinin, have long been known to have an important involvement in controlling shoot branching. Previous studies using a series of mutants with enhanced shoot branching suggested the existence of a third class of hormone(s) that is derived from carotenoids, but its chemical identity has been unknown. Here we show that levels of strigolactones, a group of terpenoid lactones, are significantly reduced in some of the branching mutants. Furthermore, application of strigolactones inhibits shoot branching in these mutants. Strigolactones were previously found in root exudates acting as communication chemicals with parasitic weeds and symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Thus, we propose that strigolactones act as a new hormone class-or their biosynthetic precursors-in regulating above-ground plant architecture, and also have a function in underground communication with other neighbouring organisms.
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              Is NF-kappaB a good target for cancer therapy? Hopes and pitfalls.

              Nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) transcription factors have a key role in many physiological processes such as innate and adaptive immune responses, cell proliferation, cell death, and inflammation. It has become clear that aberrant regulation of NF-kappaB and the signalling pathways that control its activity are involved in cancer development and progression, as well as in resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. This article discusses recent evidence from cancer genetics and cancer genome studies that support the involvement of NF-kappaB in human cancer, particularly in multiple myeloma. The therapeutic potential and benefit of targeting NF-kappaB in cancer, and the possible complications and pitfalls of such an approach, are explored.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Mol Sci
                Int J Mol Sci
                ijms
                International Journal of Molecular Sciences
                Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
                1422-0067
                June 2013
                19 June 2013
                : 14
                : 6
                : 12780-12805
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, PO Box 226, Whiteknights, RG6 6AP, UK; E-Mail: m.j.chadwick@ 123456pgr.reading.ac.uk
                [2 ]Tozer Seeds, Pyports, Downside Bridge Road, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 3EH, UK; E-Mails: harriet.trewin@ 123456bbsrc.ac.uk (H.T.); frances.gawthrop@ 123456tozerseeds.com (F.G.)
                Author notes
                [†]

                Present Address: BBSRC, Polaris House, Swindon, SN2 1UH, UK

                [* ]Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: c.wagstaff@ 123456reading.ac.uk ; Tel.: +44-118-378-5362; Fax: +44-118-931-0080.
                Article
                ijms-14-12780
                10.3390/ijms140612780
                3709812
                23783276
                © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

                Categories
                Review

                Molecular biology

                lactuca, allelopathy, artemisinin, parthenolide, sesquiterpene lactone, terpenoid, nf-κb

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