Flavonoids as P-gp inhibitors: A systematic review of SARs

Jiahua Cui, Xiaoyang Liu, Larry M.C. Chow

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


P-glycoprotein, also known as ABCB1 in the ABC transporter family, confers the simultaneous resistance of metastatic cancer cells towards various anticancer drugs with different targets and diverse chemical structures. The exploration of safe and specific inhibitors of this pump has always been the pursuit of scientists for the past four decades. Naturally occurring flavonoids as benzopyrone derivatives were recognized as a class of nontoxic inhibitors of P-gp. The recent advent of synthetic flavonoid dimer FD18, as a potent P-gp modulator in reversing multidrug resistance both in vitro and in vivo, specifically targeted the pseudodimeric structure of the drug transporter and represented a new generation of inhibitors with high transporter binding affinity and low toxicity. This review concerned the recent updates on the structure-activity relationships of flavonoids as P-gp inhibitors, the molecular mechanisms of their action and their ability to overcome P-gp-mediated MDR in preclinical studies. It had crucial implications on the discovery of new drug candidates that modulated the efflux of ABC transporters and also provided some clues for the future development in this promising area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4799-4831
Number of pages33
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Anticancer
  • Flavonoids
  • Inhibitors
  • Multidrug resistance
  • P-glycoprotein
  • SARs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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