Chrysophanol: A natural anthraquinone with multifaceted biotherapeutic potential

Prateeksha, Mohd Aslam Yusuf, Brahma N. Singh*, Surya Sudheer, Ravindra N. Kharwar, Saba Siddiqui, Ahmed M. Abdel-Azeem, Leonardo Fernandes Fraceto, Kavya Dashora, Vijai K. Gupta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


Chrysophanol is a unique anthraquinone having broad-spectrum therapeutic potential along with ecological importance. It is the first polyketide that has been reported to be biosynthesized in an organism-specific manner. The traditional Chinese and Korean medicinal systems provide evidence of the beneficial effects of chrysophanol on human health. The global distribution of chrysophanol encountered in two domains of life (bacteria and eukaryota) has motivated researchers to critically evaluate the properties of this compound. A plethora of literature is available on the pharmacological properties of chrysophanol, which include anticancer, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, and antimicrobial activities. However, the pharmacokinetics and toxicity studies on chrysophanol demand further investigations for it to be used as a drug. This is the first comprehensive review on the natural sources, biosynthetic pathways, and pharmacology of chrysophanol. Here we reviewed recent advancements made on the pharmacokinetics of the chrysophanol. Additionally, we have highlighted the knowledge gaps of its mechanism of action against diseases and toxicity aspects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number68
Issue number2
Early online date18 Feb 2019
Publication statusPrint publication - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthraquinone
  • Chrysophanol
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicity


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