Highly methoxylated flavones, which have known potential as cancer chemopreventive agents, accumulate on
the leaf surfaces of some plant species and their physiological role is to protect the plant against harmful UV radiation.
Xanthomicrol is one of the methoxylated flavones currently attracting most attention from researchers worldwide because
of its promising pharmacological activities, including anti-spasmodic, anti-platelet and anti-cancer effects, among others.
This review covers the chemistry and biological origin, distribution and pharmacological activity of xanthomicrol.
Knowledge of the botanical distribution of this compound will not only encourage the use of plant sources for
pharmacological purposes, but will also serve as a reference in the search for this valuable flavonoid in another genus or
family. New approaches to xanthomicrol production are also described, including biotechnological attempts to develop
xanthomicrol-producing plant cell factories.