The use of natural products in drug discovery and development have an
important history. Several therapeutic agents have been investigated during the biological
screenings of natural compounds. It is well documented that plants are possibly
the core of novel substances that led to the discovery of new, novel, and effective therapeutic agents. Therefore, in the last
few decades, scientists were thoroughly attempting for the search of benevolent drugs to protect mankind from various
diseases and discomforts. The diverse chemical structures of natural products are the key element of their success in modern
drug discovery. Cholinesterase enzyme inhibitors (ChEI) are chemicals which inhibit the splitting of cholinesterase
enzymes (acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase). Acetyl cholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase
(BChE) are two types of cholinesterase enzymes that have been identified in vertebrates that are responsible for Alzheimer’s
disease and related dementia. Withanolides are affective plant secondary metabolites which inhibit acetylcholinesterase
and butyrylcholinesterase enzyme and thus possibly will be the future drug for Alzheimer’s disease. By viewing
the importance of natural products in drug discovery and development, we present here, the importance of withanolides
in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. In this article, we also describe the classification and structural characterization
of withanolides. This review comprises of 114 compounds.
Keywords: Withanolides, alzheimer’s disease, withaferin A, acetyl cholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase, spectroscopic data.
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