Bioactive constituents from toxic seed plants in China
Toxic plants, regarded as unusual natural resources, are important sources for novel bioactive chemical entities and even new clinical drugs, and are receiving increasing attention. The present review summarizes more than 550 constituents with considerable bioactivities from about 120 toxic seed plant species in the last fifteen years (1998–2012), as well as follow-up studies on structural modification, SAR and action mechanisms, building on the foundations of the first monograph “Toxic plants in China” edited by Chen and Zheng in 1987. A thorough study on bioactive constituents from toxic plants could benefit proper utilization and improve the therapeutic index. It is hoped to lay an available foundation for future drug research and development. On the other hand, bioactive constituents could be used as probes to discover new targets and explore the mysteries of organisms.