Parthenin - a sesquiterpene lactone with multifaceted biological activities: insights and prospects.
Parthenin, a sesquiterpene lactone of pseudoguaianolide type, is the representative secondary metabolite of the tropical weed Parthenium hysterophorus (Asteraceae). It accounts for a multitude of biological activities, including toxicity, allergenicity, allelopathy, and pharmacological aspects of the plant. Thus far, parthenin and its derivatives have been tested for chemotherapeutic abilities, medicinal properties, and herbicidal/pesticidal activities. However, due to the lack of toxicity-bioactivity relationship studies, the versatile properties of parthenin are relatively less utilised. The possibility of exploiting parthenin in different scientific fields (e.g., chemistry, medicine, and agriculture) makes it a subject of analytical discussion. The present review highlights the multifaceted uses of parthenin, on-going research, constraints in the practical applicability, and the possible workarounds for its successful utilisation. The main aim of this comprehensive discussion is to bring parthenin to the attention of researchers, pharmacologists, natural product chemists, and chemical biologists and to open the door for its multidimensional applications.