Eremophilane-type sesquiterpenes from fungi and their medicinal potential
Eremophilanes are sesquiterpenes with a rearranged carbon skeleton formed both by plants and fungi, however, almost no plant eremophilanes are found in fungi. These eremophilanes possess mainly phytotoxic, antimicrobial, anticancer and immunomodulatory properties and in this review fungal eremophilanes with bioactivities of potential medicinal applications are reviewed and discussed. A special focus is set on natural products bearing highly functionalized fatty acids at C-1 or C-3 position of the eremophilane backbone. Many of these fatty acids seem to contribute to the bioactivity of the metabolites enhancing the activity of the sesquiterpene moieties. Several approaches for optimization of these natural products for clinical needs and testing of the resulting derivatives are presented and discussed. The combination of identification of bioactive natural products with their subsequent improvement using a variety of genetical or chemical tools and the pharmacokinetic assessment of the products is presented here as a promising approach to new drugs.