Sesquiterpene | Open Access Journals

Clinical Infectious Diseases: Open Access

ISSN: 2684-4559

Open Access


Sesquiterpenes, like so many other classes of terpenes and other natural products, have aroused considerable interest because of the role they play in biological systems and their usefulness for human uses. However, one of the characteristics that distinguishes sesquiterpenes from most other families of natural products is the thousands of different sesquiterpene compounds that have been identified. The source of this diversity comes in two ways. The first is the structural diversity that occurs in the assembly of the 15 carbon skeletons that make up the backbone of all of its sesquiterpenes. The second source of diversity is due to the superposition of functional groups and substituents on the structural scaffolds in distinct regional and stereospecific ways. Therefore, although some recent examinations of sesquiterpenes have focused on the number of distinct and new sesquiterpenes identified1, this chapter will first address theoretical considerations on how sesquiterpene scaffolds arise, and then attempt to rationalize this information with what we now know about enzymes. mediating these key biosynthetic reactions in a manner similar to the mechanistic approaches of Cane, Hohn, and Christianson.

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