Natural daphnane diterpenoids, mainly distributed in plants of the Thymelaeaceae
families, usually include a 5/7/6-tricyclic ring system with poly-hydroxyl groups located at C-3, C-4, C-5, C-9, C-13, C-14, or C-20, while some special types have a characteristic orthoester motif triaxially connectedat C-9, C-13, and C-14. The daphnane-type diterpenoids can be classified into five types: 6-epoxy daphnane diterpenoids, resiniferonoids, genkwanines, 1-alkyldaphnanes and rediocides, based on the oxygen-containing functions at rings B and C, as well as the substitution pattern of ring A. Up to now, nearly 200 daphnane-type diterpenoids have been isolated and elucidated from the Thymelaeaceae
families. In-vitro and in-vivo experiments of these compounds have shown that they possess a wide range of biological activities, including anti-HIV, anti-cancer, anti-leukemic, neurotrophic, pesticidal and cytotoxic effects. A comprehensive account of the structural diversity is given in this review, along with the cytotoxic activities of daphnane-type diterpenoids, up to April 2019.
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