Background: Pyrimidine is the six membered heterocyclic aromatic compound similar to
benzene and pyridine containing two nitrogen atoms at 1st and 3rd positions. Pyrimidine is present
throughout nature in various forms and is the building blocks of numerous natural compounds from
antibiotics to vitamins and liposacharides. The most commonly recognized pyrimidines are the bases of
RNA and DNA, the most abundant being cytosine, thymine or uracil.
Results: Pyrimidine is a core structure in a wide variety of compounds that exhibits significant biological
activity and also plays an important role in the drug discovery process. Various synthetic aspects
indicated that pyrimidine derivatives are easy to synthesize and has diverse biological and chemical
applications. The present review article aims to review the work reported on synthesis, anticancer and
antiviral potentials of pyrimidine derivatives during new millennium.
Conclusion: It may be concluded that the fused pyrimidine derivatives enhanced the anticancer potential
against different human cancer cell lines and antiviral potential against different human immunodeficiency
virus (HIV), herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) etc, which created interest among the medicinal
chemists in the pyrimidine skeleton in medicinal chemistry. Thus, a tremendous scope for research is
present in this direction for investigating pyrimidine derivatives as lead molecules.