The ATP-binding cassette efflux transporter P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is notorious for contributing to multidrug resistance in antitumor therapy. Due to its expression in many blood-organ barriers, it also influences the pharmacokinetics of drugs and drug candidates and is involved in drug/drug- and drug/nutrient interactions. However, due to lack of structural information the molecular basis of ligand/transporter interaction still needs to be elucidated. Towards this goal, a series of Benzopyranes and Benzopyrano[3,4b][1,4]oxazines have been synthesized and pharmacologically tested for their ability to inhibit P-gp mediated daunomycin efflux. Both quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models using simple physicochemical and novel GRID-independent molecular descriptors (GRIND) were established to shed light on the structural requirements for high P-gp inhibitory activity. The results from 2D-QSAR showed a linear correlation of vdW surface area (Å(2)) of hydrophobic atoms with the pharmacological activity. GRIND (3D-QSAR) studies allowed to identify important mutual distances between pharmacophoric features, which include one H-bond donor, two H-bond acceptors and two hydrophobic groups as well as their distances from different steric hot spots of the molecules. Activity of the compounds particularly increases with increase of the distance of an H-bond donor or a hydrophobic feature from a particular steric hot spot of the benzopyrane analogs.