The santol tree (Sandoricum koetjape Merr.) is largely distributed in Southeast Asia. It produces useful timber and edible fruits, consumed fresh, and transformed. It has a wide range of traditional medicinal uses for the treatment of inflammatory disorders and digestive troubles. Numerous bioactive natural products have been isolated from the roots, leaves, stems, and fruits of S. koetjape, including flavonoids, limonoids, and terpenoids. The seeds are considered toxic and contain insecticidal limonoids. The present review provides a survey of the natural products isolated from different parts of the plant and discusses their pharmacological properties. Information on S. koetjape was collected through databases and analyzed, leading to the identification of about 30 natural products of interest. Bioactive compounds include limonoids, such as sandoripins A-B, sanjecumins A-B, and sandrapins A-E, and flavonoids with antioxidant, antibacterial, and insecticidal properties such as sandoricin and sandoripin derivatives. The santol plant contains various anti-inflammatory triterpenes, such as sentulic acid and koetjapic acid (KA). KA is the main product found in santol and a few other plants. This tetracyclic triterpenoid is endowed with anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties, with marked antimetastatic and antiangiogenic effects. Its potential molecular targets are discussed, notably the kinase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and other proteins (cyclooxygenase 2, DNA polymerase-β). The water-soluble derivative potassium koetjapate (KK) affords an orally bioavailable derivative, with superior antiangiogenic properties compared to KA. The health benefits associated with the consumption of santol fruits shall be further considered, and the design of hemi-synthetic analogs of KA encouraged. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: The fruits of the santol tree are largely consumed in Asia and different parts of the plant (Sandoricum koetjape Merr.) are used in traditional medicine. Diverse bioactive terpenoids have been isolated from the plant. Their pharmacological properties are reviewed here, with a focus on the triterpene koetjapic acid which displays marked anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. Several other bioactive natural products, including limonoids and flavonoids, are evoked as well, to shed light on the many active compounds found in the fruits and the whole plant. For a healthy life, the use of the plant in phytomedicine and the consumption of the santol fruit should be encouraged.
Keywords: Sandoricum koetjape; anti-inflammatory; anticancer; koetjapic acid; santol tree.
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