Chemical Constituents and Biological Properties of the Marine Soft Coral Nephthea: A Review (Part 1)

  • F Amir
  • YC Koay
  • WS Yam
Keywords: Marine corals, Acyonaceae, Nephtheidae, Nephthea, Sesquiterpenes, Diterpenes, Steroids


The genus Nephthea is a member of the family Acyonaceae, subfamily Nephtheidae, and is distributed throughout the world mainly in the Indo-Pacific region. The genus Nephthea has been studied for its phytochemical constituents and these studies have resulted in the discovery of over a hundred compounds comprising amides, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes and steroids. Corresponding biological activities such as anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activities have also been observed for some of the isolated constituents. Among the isolated constituents, steroids are the most abundant followed by diterpenes and sesqui biological activities reported for twelve species of the genus Nephthea, namely, N. albida, N. armata, N. bayeri, N. brassica, N. capnelliformis, N. crassica, N. elongata, N. erecta, N. hainansis, N. pacifica, N. chabrolii and N. sinulata. The purpose of the review is to draw greater attention to the potentials of soft corals as a source of new drugs and secondary metabolites.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996