| IUPAC name
|3D model (Jmol)||Interactive image|
|Molar mass||360.32 g·mol−1|
|Melting point||171 to 175 °C (340 to 347 °F; 444 to 448 K)|
|Solubility in other solvents||Well soluble in most organic solvents|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
|(what is ?)|
Rosmarinic acid accumulation is shown in hornworts, in the fern family Blechnaceae and in species of several orders of mono- and dicotyledonous angiosperms.
It is found most notably in many Lamiaceae (dicotyledons in the order Lamiales), especially in the subfamily Nepetoideae. It is found in species used commonly as culinary herbs such as Ocimum basilicum (basil), Ocimum tenuiflorum (holy basil), Melissa officinalis (lemon balm), Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary), Origanum majorana (marjoram), Salvia officinalis (sage), thyme and peppermint or in plants with medicinal properties such as common self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) or species in the genus Stachys.
It is also found in other Lamiales such as Heliotropium foertherianum, a plant in the family Boraginaceae.
It is also found in plants in the family Marantaceae (monocotyledons in the order Zingiberales) such as species in the genera Maranta (Maranta leuconeura, Maranta depressa) and Thalia (Thalia geniculata).
The biosyntheses of rosmarinic acid uses 4-coumaroyl-CoA from the general phenylpropanoid pathway as hydroxycinnamoyl donor. The hydroxycinnamoyl acceptor substrate comes from the shikimate pathway: shikimic acid, quinic acid and 3,4-dihydroxyphenyllactic acid derived from L-tyrosine. Thus, chemically, rosmarinic acid is an ester of caffeic acid with 3,4-dihydroxyphenyllactic acid, but biologically, it is formed from 4-coumaroyl-4'-hydroxyphenyllactate. Rosmarinate synthase is an enzyme that uses caffeoyl-CoA and 3,4-dihydroxyphenyllactic acid to produce CoA and rosmarinate. Hydroxyphenylpyruvate reductase is also an enzyme involved in this biosynthesis.
Rosmarinic acid is a potential anxiolytic as it acts as a GABA transaminase inhibitor, more specifically on 4-aminobutyrate transaminase. Rosmarinic acid also inhibits the expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase via its cyclooxygenase-inhibiting properties.
Senescent leaves of Heliotropium foertherianum (Boraginaceae) also known as octopus bush, a plant used in many Pacific islands as a traditional medicine to treat ciguatera fish poisoning, contain rosmarinic acid and derivatives. Rosmarinic acid may remove the ciguatoxins from their sites of action.
The use of rosmarinic acid is effective in a mouse model of Japanese encephalitis.
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