Chalcones (1,3-diaryl-2-propen-1-ones) and their heterocyclic analogues, belong to the flavonoid family, which possess a number of interesting biological properties such as antioxidant, cytotoxic, anticancer, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal, antiulcer, antihistaminic and anti-inflammatory activities. Several pure chalcones have been approved for clinical use or tested in humans. Clinical trials have shown that these compounds reached reasonable plasma concentration and are well-tolerated. For this reason they are an object of continuously growing interest amongst the scientists. However, much of the pharmacological potential of chalcones is still not utilized. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the pharmacological activity of naturally occurring and synthetic chalcones. This review highlights more recent pharmacological screening of these compounds, their mechanisms of action and relevant structure-activity relationships.
Keywords: Licochalcone, chalcone, α,β-unsaturated ketone, xanthohumol, butein, antimalarial, anticancer activity, pharmacological screening, biological, isoflavonoids
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