Natural product scaffolds as leads to drugs

Future Med Chem. 2009 Nov;1(8):1415-27. doi: 10.4155/fmc.09.113.


Numerous 'scaffolds' that have been identified in natural product structures have led to very significant numbers of approved drugs and drug candidates for a multiplicity of diseases over the years. In this mini-review, we discuss the base scaffolds (chemical skeletons) that we feel have produced very significant numbers of agents as drugs or drug leads and, in a number of cases, compounds that can be used as chemical synthons or that present activities in biological areas that were not obvious from their earlier history.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Biological Products / chemistry*
  • Biological Products / metabolism
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Discovery*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biological Products