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Review | Special issue | Vol 86, No. 2, 2012, pp.891-917
Published online, 27th August, 2012
DOI: 10.3987/REV-12-SR(N)5
Distribution of Cyclic and Acyclic Bis-bibenzyls in the Marchantiophyta (Liverworts), Ferns and Higher Plants and Their Biological Activities, Biosynthesis, and Total Synthesis

Yoshinori Asakawa* and Agnieszka Ludwiczuk

*Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tokushima Bunri University, 180 Nishihamabouji, Yamashiro-machi, Tokushima, 770-8514, Japan


The Marchantiophyta (liverworts) are rich sources of cyclic and acyclic bis-bibenzyls which are very rare natural products in the plant kingdom. At present more than 70 of bis-bibenzyls have been found in liverworts. The structurally unique cyclic and acyclic bis-bibenzyls shows various biological activities such as antimicrobial, antifungal, cytotoxicity, antiobesitic, muscle relaxation, antitripanosomal activity, among others. They are biosynthesized from dimerization of lunularic acid via dihydrocoumaric acid and prelunularin. The present paper deals with the distribution of bis-bibenzyls in liverworts, fern and higher plants and their biological activity, biosynthesis, and total synthesis.