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Synthetic approaches to biologically active xanthones: an update

Shurutishria Ramakrishnan, Sakunthala Paramewaran, and Nadiah Mad Nasir

Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia



Received: 5 March 2020  Accepted: 12 August 2020


Many xanthone structures show promising biological activities. Accordingly, a breadth of synthetic strategies toward xanthone derivatives have been developed. This review surveys these methods published from 2013 to 2019, and in an integrated manner details the biological activities of key xanthone structures. The review highlights the synthesis of xanthones via the classical and the modified Grover, Shah, and Shah reaction; the use of ytterbium, palladium, ruthenium, copper catalysis; the use of chromen-4-ones as building blocks; the use of the Friedel–Crafts reaction; Ullmann-ether coupling; metal-free oxidative coupling; intermolecular and intramolecular couplings; xanthone synthesis via the intermolecular Diels–Alder reaction; a novel decarboxylative aminocatalytic strategy; use of the Michael reaction, and the use of the Knoevenagel–Michael, Michael/Michael, Michael/Henry cycloadditions; and [4+2] cycloaddition.

Keywords: Synthesis; Xanthone derivatives; Pharmacology

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-020-01320-0


Chemical Papers 75 (2) 455–470 (2021)

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