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A Review of Coumarin Derivatives in Pharmacotherapy of Breast Cancer

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The coumarin (benzopyran-2-one, or chromen-2-one) ring system, present in natural products (such as the anticoagulant warfarin) that display interesting pharmacological properties, has intrigued chemists and medicinal chemists for decades to explore the natural coumarins or synthetic analogs for their applicability as drugs. Many molecules based on the coumarin ring system have been synthesized utilizing innovative synthetic techniques. The diversity oriented synthetic routes have led to interesting derivatives including the furanocoumarins, pyranocoumarins, and coumarin sulfamates (COUMATES), which have been found to be useful in photochemotherapy, antitumor and anti-HIV therapy, and as stimulants for central nervous system, antibacterials, anti-inflammatory, anti-coagulants, and dyes. Of particular interest in breast cancer chemotherapy, some coumarins and their active metabolite 7-hydroxycoumarin analogs have shown sulfatase and aromatase inhibitory activities. Coumarin based selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) and coumarinestrogen conjugates have also been described as potential antibreast cancer agents. Since breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in American women behind lung cancer, there is a strong impetus to identify potential new drug treatments for breast cancer. Therefore, the objective of this review is to focus on important coumarin analogs with antibreast cancer activities, highlight their mechanisms of action and structure-activity relationships on selected receptors in breast tissues, and the different methods that have been applied in the construction of these pharmacologically important coumarin analogs.
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Keywords: Coumarin; aromatase inhibitor; breast cancer; sulfatase inhibitor

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Florida A&M University, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Chemistry, 219 Jones Halls, Tallahassee, FL 32307, USA.

Publication date: 01 November 2008

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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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