We have synthesised a focused library of derivatives of natural products containing the pyranonaphthoquinone moiety including the first report of such a scaffold with an appended tetrazole functionality. Examples include kalafungin derivatives as well as analogues of nanaomycin and eleutherin. These compounds were assessed for cytotoxic activation by breast cancer cell lines engineered to express the prototypic human one- and two-electron quinone bioreductive enzymes, NADPH: cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (POR) and
Nad(p)h: quinoneoxidoreductase 1 (NQO1; DT-diaphorase), respectively. Several compounds were observed to be cytotoxic at sub-micromolar level and a pattern of increased aerobic potency was observed in cells over expressing POR. A subset of analogues was assessed under anoxic conditions, where cytotoxicity was reduced, implicating redox cycling as a major mechanism of toxicity. The substrate specificity for reductive enzymes is relevant to the future design of bioreductive prodrugs to treat cancer.