• apoptosis;
  • phytochemicals;
  • signalling pathways;
  • unfolded protein response



The majority of research performed on cellular stress and apoptosis focuses on mitochondrial dysfunction; however, the importance of the endoplasmic reticulum dysfunction and the link to metabolic diseases has gained a substantial interest. This review focuses on the potential of terpenoids to influence endoplasmic reticulum stress and the possible role terpenoids play as the treatment of metabolic diseases.

Key findings

Metabolic diseases develop as a result of a cascade of cellular pathways. In most cases, cells are able to compensate for the disruption of the cellular homeostasis although the initiation of response pathways; however, chronic stress initiates apoptotic pathways. This reviewed (1) showed the importance of phytoterpenoids to influence endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and homeostasis, (2) showed how regulating ER stress affect the cell survival and death, and (3) highlighted some examples of how the progression of metabolic diseases can be influenced by ER.


Due to the substantial number of terpenoids that have been identified in literature, this review gave examples of 21 terpenoids that have been documented to have an effect on the different proteins associated with ER stress, how these plant terpenoids influence ER dysfunction and metabolic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, liver, and neurological diseases and parasitic infections.