Biomedicine and Biotechnology
ISSN (Print): 2378-5527 ISSN (Online): 2378-5535 Website: Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
Open Access
Journal Browser
Biomedicine and Biotechnology. 2015, 3(1), 8-10
DOI: 10.12691/bb-3-1-2
Open AccessReview Article

Biomedical Significance of Terpenes: An Insight

Sabitha Kandi1, Vikram Godishala2, Pragna Rao3 and K.V. Ramana4,

1Department of Biochemistry, Chalmeda AnandRao Institute of Medical Sciences, Karimnagar, Telangana

2Department of Biotechnology, Vaagdevi Degree and PG College, Warangal, Telangana, India

3Department of Biochemistry, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India

4Department of Microbiology, Prathima Institute of Medical Sciences, Karimnagar, Telangana, India

Pub. Date: March 01, 2015

Cite this paper:
Sabitha Kandi, Vikram Godishala, Pragna Rao and K.V. Ramana. Biomedical Significance of Terpenes: An Insight. Biomedicine and Biotechnology. 2015; 3(1):8-10. doi: 10.12691/bb-3-1-2


Terpenes are polymers of isoprenoid units. These isoprenoid units are five carbon compounds and are favorite nature’s building blocks. In terpenes these isoprenoids are arranged in a regular head to tail fashion. The side chains of Vitamin A, E, K, squalene (unsaturated hydrocarbon found in shark, humans) are all constituents of terpenes. Terpenes emit fragrances which allow them to be used as insect repellants, aids in pollination, perfume preparation, cosmetics and also has many medicinal values if used in required quantities. Adverse usage of terpenes has toxic effects like seizures, CNS depression, nausea vomiting etc.

terpenes isoprenoid unit squalene

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Ruzicka L. isoprenic rule. Experientia, 1953: 9: 357.
[2]  Tavormina P A e al. Mevalonic acid, biosynthetic precursor of cholesterol. J Am Chem Soc. 1956:78:4498.
[3]  Lynen F et al.,. Isoprenic rule. Angew chem., 1958:70:738.
[4]  Bloch K at al.,. Isoprenic rule. J BiolChem, 1959:24:2595.
[5]  A text book of Biochemistry. A.V.S.S Rama Rao. Chapter 4, Lipids. UBS Publishers & Distributors. 9th edition. 2002; 49.
[6]  Organic chemistry, Morrison & Boyd; chapter11: Conjugation and Resonance.; Dienes. Pearson Prentice Hall publishers. 6th edition.2006: 457.
[7]  Merrriam – Webster Online Dictionary (
[8]  Brady RD & Trams EG: The chemistry of lipids. Ann Rev Biochem.1964. 33:75.
[9]  Fieser, L.F and Fieser M: Steroids., Reinhold, N.Y., 1959.
[10]  Michael Specter(September 28, 2009). “A life of its own” ( page=all). The newyorker.
[11]  Adam, David (October31, 2008).”scientists discover cloud-thickening chemicals in trees that could offer a new weapon in the fight against global warming” ( change). The Guardian.
[12]  B.W. Agranoff, H. Eggerer, U. Henning, F. Lynen. Biosynthesis of Terpenes: VII Isopentenyl pyrophosphate Isomerase. J. Biol.Chem.1960; 235: 326-332.
[13]  Glenn Tinseth,”Hop Aroma and flavour”, January/February1993, Brewing Techniques.
[14]  Isman, MB(2000).”Plant essential oils for pest and disease management. Crop Protection.19:603-608.
[15]  W.L.Nutting, M.S. Blum and H,M,Fales (1974).”Behaviour of the North American Termite, Tenuirostritermes tenuirostris, with special reference to the soldier Frontal Gland secretion, Its chemical composition, and use in Defense”. Psyche 81(!): 167-177.
[16]  Roman Paduch, Martyna Kandefer-Szerszeń, Mariusz Trytek, Jan Fiedurek. Terpenes: Substances useful in human health care. Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz) 2007 Sep-Oct;55(5): 315-27.
[17]  Santos ML, Magalhães CF, da Rosa MB, de Assis Santos D, Brasileiro BG, de Carvalho LM et al. Antifungal activity of extracts from Piper aduncum leaves prepared by different solvents and extraction techniques against dermatophytes Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton interdigitale. Braz J Microbiol. 2014 Mar 10; 44(4): 1275-8.