Essential oils components as a new path to understand ion channel molecular pharmacology

de Araújo DA, Freitas C, Cruz JS
Life sciences, 2011


The discovery and development of new drugs targeting voltage-gated ion channels are important for treating a variety of medical conditions and diseases. Ion channels are molecular nanostructures expressed ubiquitously throughout the whole body, and are involved in many basic physiological processes. Over the years, natural products have proven useful in the pharmacological assessment of ion channel structure and function, while also contributing to the identification of lead molecules for drug development. Essential oils are complex chemical mixtures isolated from plants which may possess a large spectrum of biological activities most of them of clinical interest. Among their bioactive constituents, terpenes are small to medium-sized components and belong to different chemical groups. Various reports have drawn our attention to the fact that terpenes are novel compounds targeting voltage-gated ion channels. The purpose of this review is to provide a focused discussion on the molecular interaction between monoterpenes and phenylpropenes with voltage-gated ion channels in different biological scenarios.


de Araújo DA, Freitas C, Cruz JS. Essential oils components as a new path to understand ion channel molecular pharmacology. Life Sci. 2011;89(15-16):540-4.

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