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Prenylated Isoflavonoids: Botanical Distribution, Structures, Biological Activities and Biotechnological Studies. An Update (1995-2006)

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In contrast with the parent class of flavonoids, the distribution of the isoflavonoid class in the plant kingdom is relatively limited, probably owing to the sporadic occurrence of isoflavone synthase. Isoflavonoids have been mostly found in the subfamily Fabaceae/Papilionoideae of the Leguminosae family. Isoprenoid-substituted (also called complex) isoflavonoids are expressed from a smaller number of plants, as a result of the similarly restricted distribution of prenyltransferases (PT-ase). After the reviews of Tanara & Ibrahim (1995), Boland & Donnelly (1997), the Handbook of Flavonoids by Harborne & C (Handbook of Flavonoids, 1999), and the paper by Harborne and Williams (2000) few other reports concern the distribution and the biological activity of complex isoflavonoids, except a list of isoflavonoids produced from non leguminous plants.

This review deals with an update of the literature on isoprenylated isoflavonoids in the years 1995-2006 and is focused on the following highlights.

1. Natural sources of complex isoflavonoids (2000-2006)

2. Chemical structure variety: new entries (2000-2006)

3. Biological activities and a possible structure-activity relationship (1995-2006)

4. In vitro production and microbial metabolism (1995-2006)
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Keywords: Prenylated isoflavonoids; antimicrobial activity; antitumor activity; arylcoumarins; biotechnology; coumestans; pterocarpans; rotenoids

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Dipartimento di Chimica e Tecnologie del Farmaco, Sapienza Universita di Roma, Piazzale A. Moro 5, 00185 Roma, Italy.

Publication date: 01 September 2009

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