O-Prenyl secondary metabolites (3,3-dimethylallyl, geranyl-, farnesyl- and related biosynthetic derivatives)
represent a class of rarely occurring natural products. In the last two decades such compounds have
been found to exert promising and effective pharmacological activities, mainly in terms of anti-cancer properties.
To date about 350 oxyprenylated secondary metabolites, the most part of which having a phenylpropanoid
or a polyketide core, have been extracted from plants mainly belonging to the Rutaceae, Apiaceae, and
Fabaceae families, and from fungi and bacteria. The aim of this comprehensive review is to make a survey of
the in so far reported literature citations about O-prenyl secondary metabolites exhibiting in vitro and in vivo
anti-cancer properties from phytochemical and pharmacological point of views.
Keywords: Anthraquinones, cancer, chalcones, cinnamic acids, coumarins, diketopiperazines, oxyprenylated secondary
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