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Current Organic Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1385-2728
ISSN (Online): 1875-5348

Review Article

Isoflavones, their Glycosides and Glycoconjugates. Synthesis and Biological Activity

Author(s): Wieslaw Szeja, Grzegorz Grynkiewicz and Aleksandra Rusin

Volume 21, Issue 3, 2017

Page: [218 - 235] Pages: 18

DOI: 10.2174/1385272820666160928120822

open access plus


Glycosylation of small biologically active molecules, either of natural or synthetic origin, has a profound impact on their solubility, stability, and bioactivity, making glycoconjugates attractive compounds as therapeutic agents or nutraceuticals. A large proportion of secondary metabolites, including flavonoids, occur in plants as glycosides, which adds to the molecular diversity that is much valued in medicinal chemistry studies. The subsequent growing market demand for glycosidic natural products has fueled the development of various chemical and biotechnological methods of glycosides preparation. The review gives an extensive overview of the processes of the synthesis of isoflavones and discusses recently developed major routes towards isoflavone-sugar formation processes. Special attention is given to the derivatives of genistein, the main isoflavone recognized as a useful lead in several therapeutic categories, with particular focus on anticancer drug design. The utility of chemical glycosylations as well as glycoconjugates preparation is discussed in some theoretical as well as practical aspects. Since novel approaches to chemical glycosylations and glycoconjugations are abundant and many of them proved suitable for derivatization of polyphenols a new body of evidence has emerged, indicating that sugar moiety can play a much more significant role, when attached to a pharmacophore, then being a mere “solubilizer”. In many cases, it has been demonstrated that semisynthetic glycoconjugates are much more potent cytostatic and cytotoxic agents than reference isoflavones. Moreover, the newly designed glycosides or glycoside mimics can act through different mechanisms than the parent active molecule.

Keywords: Isoflavones, chemical glycosylations, isoflavone glycoconjugates.

Graphical Abstract

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