Phytochemical and Biological Activities of an Anticancer Plant Medicine: Brucea javanica
Lijuan Zhao, Chao Li, Yao Zhang, Qing Wen and Dongmei Ren
Affiliation: Department of Natural Products Chemistry, Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology (Ministry of Education), School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Shandong University, Jinan 250012, PR China.
In this review, the literature data on recent advances of the medicinal plant Brucea javanica (L.) Merr. (Simaroubaceae), both
phytochemical and biological investigations, are compiled. Brucea javanica is an evergreen shrub distributed widely in Southeast Asia
and northern Australia. In China, the seeds of Brucea javanica have been used as traditional herbal medicine due to its multifaceted
activities. To date, 153 compounds have been reported from the seeds and aerial parts of Brucea javanica. Quassinoids are the main
constituents of this species. The extract of Brucea javanica and the isolated compounds especially quassinoids exhibited various
biological properties, such as antitumor and antimalarial effects.
Keywords: Brucea javanica, biological activities, chemical constituents, quassinoids
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