Flavonoids from marine-derived actinobacteria as anticancer drugs

Wael N. Hozzein, Mohamed Mohany, Sana M.M. Alhawsawi, Mohamed Y. Zaky, Salim S. Al-Rejaie, Dalal Hussien M. Alkhalifah

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Flavonoids represent a large diverse group of natural products that are used as a traditional medicine against various infectious diseases. They possess many biological activities including antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-diabetic activities. Commercially, flavonoids are mainly obtained from plants, however, several challenges are faced during their extraction. Microorganisms have been known as natural sources of a wide range of bioactive compounds including flavonoids. Actinobacteria are the most prolific group of microorganisms for the production of bioactive secondary metabolites, thus facilitating the production of fla-vonoids. The screening programs for bioactive compounds revealed the potential application of actinobacteria to produce flavonoids with interesting biological activities, especially anticancer activities. Since marine actinobac-teria are recognized as a potential source of novel anticancer agents, they are highly expected to be potential producers of anticancer flavonoids with unusual structures and properties. In this review, we highlight the production of flavonoids by actinobacteria through classical fermentation, engineering of plant biosynthetic genes in a recombinant actinobacterium and the de novo biosynthesis approach. Through these approaches, we can control and improve the production of interesting flavonoids or their derivatives for the treatment of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-512
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Anticancer drugs
  • Bioactive compounds
  • Biological activities
  • Flavonoids
  • Marine actinobacteria
  • Polyphenols
  • Secondary metabo-lites


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