Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3786


Cucurbitane-type triterpenoids in Momordica charantia Linn

Sook Young Lee1, Seok Hyun Eom2, Yong Kyoung Kim3, Nam Il Park3 and Sang Un Park3,*
1Research Center for Oral Disease Regulation of the Aged, Chosun University, 375 Seosuk-Dong, Dong-Gu, Gwangju, 501-759, Korea. 2Department of Horticultural Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences, Kyung Hee University, 1 Seocheon-Dong, Giheung-Gu, Yongin, Gyeonggido 446-701, Korea. 3Division of Plant Science and Resources, Chungnam National University, 220 Gung-Dong, Yuseong-Gu, Daejeon, 305-764, Korea.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 16 December 2009
  •  Published: 31 December 2009


Momordica charantia Linn, belonging to the family of Cucurbitaceae, is a useful medicinal and vegetable plant for human health and one of the most promising plants for diabetes. Cucurbitane-type triterpenoidsare the main active constituents of M. charantia and have a number of potential biological and pharmacological activities including antidiabetic, anti-obesity, anticancer, anti-HIV, antifeedant and antioviposition activities. Since the early 1960’s the constituents of bitter melon have been investigated and several classes of secondary metabolites including cucurbitane-type triterpenoids have been isolated. Charantin, an anti-diabetic compound, is a typical cucurbitane-type triterpenoid in M. charantia and is a potential and promising substance for the treatment of diabetes. This review summarized previous and current information regarding cucurbitane-type triterpenoids in M. charantia and provides new insights into its underlying chemical isolation and activities. 


Key words: Biological and pharmacological activities, charantin, cucurbitane-type triterpenoids, diabetes, Momordica charantia Linn.

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