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Pure Appl. Chem., 2010, Vol. 82, No. 1, pp. 1-16

Published online 2010-01-03

Enzymatic transformation of flavonoids and terpenoids: Structural and functional diversity of the novel derivatives

Epameinondas Xanthakis1, Eleni Theodosiou1, Sophia Magkouta2, Haralambos Stamatis3, Heleni Loutrari2, Charis Roussos2 and Fragiskos Kolisis1*

1 School of Chemical Engineering, Laboratory of Biotechnology, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece
2 “G.P. Livanos and M. Simou Laboratories”, Evangelismos Hospital, Department of Critical Care and Pulmonary Services, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
3 Department of Biological Applications and Technology, Laboratory of Biotechnology, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece

Abstract: Flavonoids and terpenoids are promising candidates for use as functional foods and novel therapeutics due to their prominent biological activities. However, the use of several bioactive plant compounds is limited by low stability and solubility problems. This review underlines the feasibility of enzymatic synthesis of novel bioactive analogs of selected flavonoids (silybin, rutin) and terpenoids (perillyl alcohol, POH) in nonconventional reaction systems. The effect of various parameters on the enzymatic acylation and/or glucosylation of these phytochemicals was studied. Also, the role of the structure of the novel molecules in relation to their biological function was investigated in various cancer cell lines.