Current Medicinal Chemistry

Atta-ur-Rahman, FRS
Honorary Life Fellow
Kings College
University of Cambridge


Chemical and Biological Aspects of the Natural 1,4-Benzoquinone Embelin and its (semi-)Synthetic Derivatives

Author(s): Priti Singh Shuveksh, Khursheed Ahmed, Subhash Padhye, Rainer Schobert, Bernhard Biersack.


Background: Like the impressive biological properties of embelin, its chemical aspects have raised the interest of scientists in the field as well. A detailed understanding of the chemistry of embelin is necessary to fully exploit it medicinally.

Methods: Search for embelin isolation and its chemical modifications was carried out using web-based literature searching tools such as Pubmed and Scifinder. Pertinent literature is covered up to 2016. Structures of bioactive embelin derivatives are provided.

Results: Pure embelin, obtained from Embelia ribes berries extraction or by total synthesis, was applied for a number of biological assays. Semi-synthetic and total synthetic approaches led to new high affinity embelin-derived inhibitors of crucial protein targets and to new embelin derivatives with improved pharmacological properties (e.g., with better water-solubility or as applications for drug carrier systems).

Conclusion: This review provides a summary of the rich chemistry of embelin and the latest developments in the field of optimized (semi-)synthetic embelin derivatives including their biological activities.

Keywords: Embelin, natural products, benzoquinone, antioxidant, drug design, (semi-)synthetic embelin derivatives.

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Article Details

Year: 2017
Page: [1998 - 2009]
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.2174/0929867324666170116125731
Price: $58