Indexed on: 09 Jan '19Published on: 05 Jan '19Published in: Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)
Xanthones represent a structurally diverse group of compounds with a broad range of biological and pharmacological activities, depending on the nature and position of various substituents in the dibenzo-γ-pyrone scaffold. Among the large number of natural and synthetic xanthone derivatives, carboxyxanthones are very interesting bioactive compounds as well as important chemical substrates for molecular modifications to obtain new derivatives. A remarkable example is 5,6-dimethylxanthone-4-acetic acid (DMXAA), a simple carboxyxanthone derivative, originally developed as an anti-tumor agent and the first of its class to enter phase III clinical trials. From DMXAA new bioactive analogues and derivatives were also described. In this review, a literature survey covering the report on carboxyxanthone derivatives is presented, emphasizing their biological activities as well as their application as suitable building blocks to obtain new bioactive derivatives. The data assembled in this review intends to highlight the therapeutic potential of carboxyxanthone derivatives and guide the design for new bioactive xanthone derivatives.