Mini reviews in medicinal chemistry

The mechanisms of anticancer agents by genistein and synthetic derivatives of isoflavone.

PMID 22303948


Genistein is the most abundant isoflavone in soybeans. It has exhibited diverse biological activities, among these, its anticancer effects is most noteworthy. Through regulating critical cell cycle genes, genistein can inhibit cancer cell growth in vivo and in vitro. It has been reported that genistein can inhibit activation of NF-κB and Akt signaling pathways to induce cell apopt1osis, both pathways are well known for their function to maintain a balance between cell survival and apoptosis. In order to find out more outstanding anticancer isoflavone agents, against cancers extended synthesis of genistein derivatives has been carried out. Some of these synthetic compounds demonstrated higher anticancer activity with lower doses. Based on these results, genistein and its synthetic derivatives may be an emerging new type of anticancer agents.