Naturally Occurring Xanthones; Biological Activities, Chemical Profiles and In Silico Drug Discovery.

International Research Center for Food Nutrition and Safety, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, 212013, China. Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Menoufia University, 32512, Shebin El-Kom, Egypt. International Joint Research Laboratory of Intelligent Agriculture and Agri-Products Processing, Jiangsu Education Department, Jiangsu University, Nanjing, 210024, China. Chemistry of Natural Products, Research Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (RIMAP), Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, 62514, Egypt. Computational Chemistry Laboratory, Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Minia University, Minia, 61519, Egypt. Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, Staudingerweg 5, Mainz, 55128, Germany. 7Chemistry of Medicinal Plants Department, National Research Centre, 33 El-Bohouth St., Dokki, Giza, 12622, Egypt. Department of Chemistry, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, 35899, AL, USA. Aromatic Plant Research Center, 230 N 1200 E, Suite 100, Lehi, 84043, UT, USA. School of Food and Biological Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, 212013, China. Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sadat City, Menoufia 32897, Egypt. Clinical Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt. H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, Karachi, 75270, Pakistan. Chemistry Department, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, 45320, Pakistan. Faculty of Pharmacy, The British University in Egypt, El Sherouk, Cairo, Egypt. Food Science and Technology Program, BNU-HKBU United International College, Zhuhai, 519087, China. College of Marine Sciences, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China. Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Stockholm University, Stockholm, SE 106 91, Sweden.

Current medicinal chemistry. 2024;(1):62-101


Xanthones are widely distributed polyphenols, present commonly in higher plants; Garcinia, Calophyllum, Hypericum, Platonia, Mangifera, Gentiana and Swertia. Xanthone tricyclic scaffold is able to interact with different biological targets, showing antibacterial and cytotoxic effects, as well as potent effects against osteoarthritis, malaria, and cardiovascular diseases. Thus, in this article we focused on pharmacological effects, applications and preclinical studies with the recent updates of xanthon´s isolated compounds from 2017-2020. We found that only α-mangostin, gambogic acid, and mangiferin, have been subjected to preclinical studies with particular emphasis on the development of anticancer, diabetes, antimicrobial and hepatoprotective therapeutics. Molecular docking calculations were performed to predict the binding affinities of xanthone-derived compounds against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. According to the results, cratoxanthone E and morellic acid demonstrated promising binding affinities towards SARS-CoV-2 Mpro with docking scores of -11.2 and -11.0 kcal/mol, respectively. Binding features manifested the capability of cratoxanthone E and morellic acid to exhibit nine and five hydrogen bonds, respectively, with the key amino acids of the Mpro active site. In conclusion, cratoxanthone E and morellic acid are promising anti-COVID-19 drug candidates that warrant further detailed in vivo experimental estimation and clinical assessment.