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Medicines 2018, 5(3), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines5030081

The Current Status of the Pharmaceutical Potential of Juniperus L. Metabolites

1
Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Azores, 9501-801 Ponta Delgada, Portugal
2
Department of Chemistry & QOPNA-Organic Chemistry, Natural Products and Food Stuffs, University of Aveiro, Campus de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
3
cE3c—Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes/Azorean Biodiversity Group & Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Azores, Rua Mãe de Deus, 9501-321 Ponta Delgada, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 July 2018 / Revised: 16 July 2018 / Accepted: 20 July 2018 / Published: 31 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Potential and Medical Use of Secondary Metabolites)
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Abstract

Background: Plants and their derived natural compounds possess various biological and therapeutic properties, which turns them into an increasing topic of interest and research. Juniperus genus is diverse in species, with several traditional medicines reported, and rich in natural compounds with potential for development of new drugs. Methods: The research for this review were based in the Scopus and Web of Science databases using terms combining Juniperus, secondary metabolites names, and biological activities. This is not an exhaustive review of Juniperus compounds with biological activities, but rather a critical selection taking into account the following criteria: (i) studies involving the most recent methodologies for quantitative evaluation of biological activities; and (ii) the compounds with the highest number of studies published in the last four years. Results: From Juniperus species, several diterpenes, flavonoids, and one lignan were emphasized taking into account their level of activity against several targets. Antitumor activity is by far the most studied, being followed by antibacterial and antiviral activities. Deoxypodophyllotoxin and one dehydroabietic acid derivative appears to be the most promising lead compounds. Conclusions: This review demonstrates the Juniperus species value as a source of secondary metabolites with relevant pharmaceutical potential. View Full-Text
Keywords: Juniperus; secondary metabolites; diterpenes; flavonoids; lignans; cytotoxic; antitumor; antibacterial; amentoflavone; deoxypodophyllotoxin Juniperus; secondary metabolites; diterpenes; flavonoids; lignans; cytotoxic; antitumor; antibacterial; amentoflavone; deoxypodophyllotoxin
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Tavares, W.R.; Seca, A.M.L. The Current Status of the Pharmaceutical Potential of Juniperus L. Metabolites. Medicines 2018, 5, 81.

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