Polycyclic xanthone natural products: structure, biological activity and chemical synthesis

Nat Prod Rep. 2013 Mar;30(3):382-91. doi: 10.1039/c3np20122h. Epub 2013 Jan 21.


Polycyclic xanthone natural products are a family of polyketides which are characterized by highly oxygenated, angular hexacyclic frameworks. In the last decade, this novel class of molecules has attracted noticeable attention from the synthetic and biological communities due to emerging reports of their potential use as antitumour agents. The aim of this article is to highlight the most recent developments of this subset of the xanthone family by detailing the innate challenges of the construction of this class of natural products, new synthetic approaches, and pharmacological data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents* / chemical synthesis
  • Antineoplastic Agents* / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents* / pharmacology
  • Biological Products* / chemical synthesis
  • Biological Products* / chemistry
  • Biological Products* / pharmacology
  • Molecular Structure
  • Polycyclic Compounds / chemical synthesis
  • Polycyclic Compounds / chemistry
  • Polycyclic Compounds / pharmacology
  • Xanthones* / chemical synthesis
  • Xanthones* / chemistry
  • Xanthones* / pharmacology


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biological Products
  • Polycyclic Compounds
  • Xanthones