Forskolin belongs to the class of Labdane diterpenoids. It contains 3 six membered rings (one of them being a pyran ring) condensed in the form of a naphthopyran system.
It has two secondary hydroxyl groups, one tertiary hydroxyl group, a keto group and an O-acetyl group. It also has an exocyclic double bond.
Partial synthesis1 (from 9-deoxyforskolin) and total synthesis2 of (±)-forskolin have been reported
Other diterpenoids, deacetylforskohlin, 9-deoxyforskohlin, 1,9-deoxyforskohlin, 1,9-dideoxy-7-deacetylforskohlin,
along with four minor diterpenoids have also been reported to be present in the roots of Coleus forskohlii.
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