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Simple Coumarins and Analogues in Medicinal Chemistry: Occurrence, Synthesis and Biological Activity

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Coumarins, also known as benzopyrones, are present in remarkable amounts in plants, although their presence has also been detected in microorganisms and animal sources. The structural diversity found in this family of compounds led to the division into different categories, from simple coumarins to many other kinds of policyclic coumarins, such as furocoumarins and pyranocoumarins.

Simple coumarins and analogues are a large class of compounds that have attracted their interest for a long time due to their biological activities: they have shown to be useful as antitumoural, anti-HIV agents and as CNSactive compounds. Furthermore, they have been reported to have multiple biological activities (anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory), although all these properties have not been evaluated systematically. In addition, their enzyme inhibition properties, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities are other foremost topics of this field of research.

The present work is to survey the information published or abstracted from 1990 till 2003, which is mainly related to the occurrence, synthesis and biological importance of simple coumarins and some analogues, such as biscoumarins and triscoumarins. Data are also highlighted, concerning the development of new synthetic strategies that could help in drug design and in the work on SAR or QSAR.
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Keywords: biological activity; occurrence; sar and qsar; separation and identification; simple coumarins; synthesis

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Laboratorio de Quimica Organica, Faculdade de Farmacia do Porto, Rua Anibal Cunha, 164,4050-047 Porto, Portugal.

Publication date: 2005-04-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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