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5,7-Dihydroxy-3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one; Baichanin A; Bonistein; 4’,5,7-Trihydroxyisoflavone; GeniVida; Genisteol; NSC 36586; Prunetol; Sophoricol;

CAS Number: 446-72-0
 BIO-300; G-2535; PTI-G-4660; SIPI-9764-I; PTIG-4660; SIPI-9764I
Molecular form.: C₁₅H₁₀O₅
Appearance: Light Tan to Light Yellow Solid
Melting Point: >277°C (dec.)
Mol. Weight: 270.24

Genistein , an isoflavone found in many Fabaceae plants and important non-nutritional constituent of soybeans (Glycine max Merill), is a well-known plant metabolite from phenylpropanoid pathway, chiefly because of its presence in numerous phytoestrogenic dietary supplements. In fact, the compound also strives for higher medicinal status, undergoing dozens of clinical trials for various ailments, from osteoporosis to cancer

IR (KBr, cm–1; inter alia): 3411, 3104, 1651, 1615, 1570, 1519, 1504, 1424, 1361, 1309, 1202, 1179, 1145, 1043, 911, 840, 790.
1H NMR (200 MHz, THF-d8), δ (ppm): 6.17 (d, J = 2,2 Hz, 1H); 6.26 (d, J = 2,2 Hz, 1H); 6.78 (m, 2H); 7.41 (m, 2H); 8.02 (s, 1H); 8.50 (bs, 1H); 9.34 (bs, 1H); 13.02 (s, 1H).
13C NMR (THF-d8), δ (ppm): 94.13; 99.73; 106.20; 115.82; 122.95; 124.17; 130.84; 153.78; 158.73; 159.08; 164.24; 165.16; 181.46.

An EGFR/DNA topoisomerase II inhibitor potentially for the treatment of bladder cancer and prostate cancer.


Genistein; CAS: 446-72-0



Genistein is an angiogenesis inhibitor and a phytoestrogen and belongs to the category of isoflavones. Genistein was first isolated in 1899 from the dyer’s broom, Genista tinctoria; hence, the chemical name. The compound structure was established in 1926, when it was found to be identical with prunetol. It was chemically synthesized in 1928.[1]

Natural occurrences

Isoflavones such as genistein and daidzein are found in a number of plants including lupin, fava beans, soybeans, kudzu, andpsoralea being the primary food source,[2][3] also in the medicinal plants, Flemingia vestita[4] and F. macrophylla,[5][6] and coffee.[7] It can also be found in Maackia amurensis cell cultures.[8]

Extraction and purification

Most of the isoflavones in plants are present in a glycosylated form. The unglycosylated aglycones can be obtained through various means such as treatment with the enzyme β-glucosidase, acid treatment of soybeans followed by solvent extraction, or by chemical synthesis.[9] Acid treatment is a harsh method as concentrated inorganic acids are used. Both enzyme treatment and chemical synthesis are costly. A more economical process consisting of fermentation for in situ production of β-glucosidase to isolate genistein has been recently investigated.[10]


Biological effects

Besides functioning as antioxidant and anthelmintic, many isoflavones have been shown to interact with animal and human estrogen receptors, causing effects in the body similar to those caused by the hormone estrogen. Isoflavones also produce non-hormonal effects.

Molecular function

Genistein influences multiple biochemical functions in living cells:

Activation of PPARs

Isoflavones genistein and daidzein bind to and transactivate all three PPAR isoforms, α, δ, and γ.[18] For example, membrane-bound PPARγ-binding assay showed that genistein can directly interact with the PPARγ ligand binding domain and has a measurable Ki of 5.7 mM.[19] Gene reporter assays showed that genistein at concentrations between 1 and 100 uM activated PPARs in a dose dependent way in KS483 mesenchymal progenitor cells, breast cancer MCF-7 cells, T47D cells and MDA-MD-231 cells, murine macrophage-like RAW 264.7 cells, endothelial cells and in Hela cells. Several studies have shown that both ERs and PPARs influenced each other and therefore induce differential effects in a dose-dependent way. The final biological effects of genistein are determined by the balance among these pleiotrophic actions.[18][20][21]

Tyrosine kinase inhibitor

The main known activity of genistein is tyrosine kinase inhibitor, mostly of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Tyrosine kinases are less widespread than their ser/thr counterparts but implicated in almost all cell growth and proliferation signal cascades.

Redox-active — not only antioxidant

Genistein may act as direct antioxidant, similar to many other isoflavones, and thus may alleviate damaging effects of free radicals in tissues.[22][23]

The same molecule of genistein, similar to many other isoflavones, by generation of free radicals poison topoisomerase II, an enzyme important for maintaining DNA stability.[24][25][26]

Human cells turn on beneficial, detoxyfying Nrf2 factor in response to genistein insult. This pathway may be responsible for observed health maintaining properities of small doses of genistein.[27]


The root-tuber peel extract of the leguminous plant Felmingia vestita is the traditional anthelmitic of the Khasi tribes of India. While investigating its anthelmintic activity, genistein was found to be the major isoflavone responsible for the deworming property.[4][28] Genistein was subsequently demonstrated to be highly effective against intestinal parasitessuch as the poultry cestode Raillietina echinobothrida,[28] the pork trematode Fasciolopsis buski,[29] and the sheep liver fluke Fasciola hepatica.[30] It exerts its anthelmintic activity by inhibiting the enzymes of glycolysis and glycogenolysis,[31][32] and disturbing the Ca2+ homeostasis and NO activity in the parasites.[33][34] It has also been investigated inhuman tapeworms such as Echinococcus multilocularis and E. granulosus metacestodes that genistein and its derivatives, Rm6423 and Rm6426, are potent cestocides.[35]


Genistein protects against pro-inflammatory factor-induced vascular endothelial barrier dysfunction and inhibits leukocyteendothelium interaction, thereby modulating vascular inflammation, a major event in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.[36]

Cancer links

Genistein and other isoflavones have been identified as angiogenesis inhibitors, and found to inhibit the uncontrolled cell growth of cancer, most likely by inhibiting the activity of substances in the body that regulate cell division and cell survival (growth factors). Various studies have found that moderate doses of genistein have inhibitory effects on cancersof the prostate,[37][38] cervix,[39] brain,[40] breast[37][41][42] and colon.[16] It has also been shown that genistein makes some cells more sensitive to radio-therapy.;[43] although, timing of phytoestrogen use is also important. [43]

Genistein’s chief method of activity is as a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Tyrosine kinases are less widespread than their ser/thr counterparts but implicated in almost all cell growth and proliferation signal cascades. Inhibition of DNA topoisomerase II also plays an important role in the cytotoxic activity of genistein.[25][44] Genistein has been used to selectively target pre B-cells via conjugation with an anti-CD19 antibody.[45]

Studies on rodents have found genistein to be useful in the treatment of leukemia, and that it can be used in combination with certain other antileukemic drugs to improve their efficacy.[46]

Estrogen receptor — more cancer links

Due to its structure similarity to 17β-estradiol (estrogen), genistein can compete with it and bind to estrogen receptors. However, genistein shows much higher affinity towardestrogen receptor β than toward estrogen receptor α.[47]

Data from in vitro and in vivo research confirms that genistein can increase rate of growth of some ER expressing breast cancers. Genistein was found to increase the rate of proliferation of estrogen-dependent breast cancer when not cotreated with an estrogen antagonist.[48][49][50] It was also found to decrease efficiency of tamoxifen and letrozole – drugs commonly used in breast cancer therapy.[51][52] Genistein was found to inhibit immune response towards cancer cells allowing their survival.[53]

Effects in males

Isoflavones can act like estrogen, stimulating development and maintenance of female characteristics, or they can block cells from using cousins of estrogen. In vitro studies have shown genistein to induce apoptosis of testicular cells at certain levels, thus raising concerns about effects it could have on male fertility;[54] however, a recent study found that isoflavones had “no observable effect on endocrine measurements, testicular volume or semen parameters over the study period.” in healthy males given isoflavone supplements daily over a 2-month period.[55]

Carcinogenic and toxic potential

Genistein was, among other flavonoids, found to be a strong topoisomerase inhibitor, similarly to some chemotherapeutic anticancer drugs ex. etoposide and doxorubicin.[24][56]In high doses it was found to be strongly toxic to normal cells.[57] This effect may be responsible for both anticarcinogenic and carcinogenic potential of the substance.[26][58] It was found to deteriorate DNA of cultured blood stem cells, what may lead to leukemia.[59] Genistein among other flavonoids is suspected to increase risk of infant leukemia when consumed during pregnancy.[60][61]

Sanfilippo syndrome treatment

Genistein decreases pathological accumulation of glycosaminoglycans in Sanfilippo syndrome. In vitro animal studies and clinical experiments suggest that the symptoms of the disease may be alleviated by adequate dose of genistein.[62] Genistein was found to also possess toxic properties toward brain cells.[57] Among many pathways stimulated by genistein, autophagy may explain the observed efficiency of the substance as autophagy is significantly impaired in the disease.[63][64]

Related compounds


Genistin is the 7-O-beta-D-glucoside of genistein.

Acetylated compounds

Wighteone is the 6-isopentenyl genistein (6-prenyl-5,7,4′-trihydroxyisoflavone)[citation needed]

Pharmaceutical derivatives

  • KBU2046 under investigation for prostate cancer.[65][66]
  • B43-genistein, an anti-CD19 antibody linked to genistein e.g. for leukemia.[67]
  • Genistein has two known synthesis routes: deoxybenzoin route and chalcone route. Deoxybenzoin route uses friedel-craft reaction, and chalcone route uses aldol condensation as shown in figure 2. Developing synthesis of genistein allows the access to the affordable therapy as well as mass production of commercial genistein supplements. However, it would be recommended to consult with the health care provider and discuss the pros and cons before the use since the effects of genistein on human body are not fully understood yet as discussed above.

Figure 2. Synthesis of genistein via deoxybenzoin route or chalcone route. 10


Identification of Benzopyran-4-one Derivatives (Isoflavones) as Positive Modulators of GABAA Receptors
ChemMedChem (2011), 6, (8), 1340-1346



By Achmatowicz, Osman et al

From Pol., 204473




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External links



Abstract Image

Development and scale-up of the synthetic process for genistein preparation are described. The process was designed with consideration for environmental and economical aspects and optimized in a laboratory scale. In a scale up, on every step quantity of the environmentally unfriendly substrates or solvents was reduced without compromising the quality of the final product, and the waste load was significantly diminished. The optimal duration times of the individual stages were determined, and the number of operations was reduced, leading to lowering of energy consumption. Elaborated process secures good yield and quality expected for pharmaceutical substances.

Technical Process for Preparation of Genistein

Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Rydygiera 8, 01-793 Warsaw, Poland
Org. Process Res. Dev., Article ASAP
DOI: 10.1021/acs.oprd.5b00425
Publication Date (Web): June 03, 2016
Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society


Genistein molecule
IUPAC name

Other names

446-72-0 Yes
ChEBI CHEBI:28088 Yes
ChemSpider 4444448 Yes
DrugBank DB01645 Yes
Jmol 3D model Interactive image
KEGG C06563 Yes
PubChem 5280961
Molar mass 270.24 g·mol−1
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).

Akiyama, T., et al.: J. Biol. Chem., 262, 5592 (1987), O’Dell, T.J., et al.: Nature, 353, 588 (1991), Aharonovits, O., et al.: Biochim Biophys. Acta, 1112, 181 (1992), Platanias, L.C., et al.: J. Biol. Chem., 267, 24053 (1992), Yoshida, H., et al.: Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1137, 321 (1992), Uckun, F.M., et al.: Science, 267, 886 (1995), Merck Index 12th ed. 4395, Huang, R.Q.; Fang, M.J.; Dillon, G.H., Mol. Brain Res. 67: 177-183 (1999)


//////BIO-300,  G-2535,  PTI-G-4660,  SIPI-9764-I,  PTIG-4660,  SIPI-9764I, Genistein, phase 2, national cancer institute


Supporting Info


Start of the Euro 2016

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DR ANTHONY MELVIN CRASTO, Born in Mumbai in 1964 and graduated from Mumbai University, Completed his Ph.D from ICT, 1991,Matunga, Mumbai, India, in Organic Chemistry, The thesis topic was Synthesis of Novel Pyrethroid Analogues, Currently he is working with AFRICURE PHARMA as ADVISOR, earlier assignment was with GLENMARK LIFE SCIENCES LTD, as CONSUlTANT, Retired from GLENMARK in Jan2022 Research Centre as Principal Scientist, Process Research (bulk actives) at Mahape, Navi Mumbai, India. Total Industry exp 32 plus yrs, Prior to joining Glenmark, he has worked with major multinationals like Hoechst Marion Roussel, now Sanofi, Searle India Ltd, now RPG lifesciences, etc. He has worked with notable scientists like Dr K Nagarajan, Dr Ralph Stapel, Prof S Seshadri, etc, He did custom synthesis for major multinationals in his career like BASF, Novartis, Sanofi, etc., He has worked in Discovery, Natural products, Bulk drugs, Generics, Intermediates, Fine chemicals, Neutraceuticals, GMP, Scaleups, etc, he is now helping millions, has 9 million plus hits on Google on all Organic chemistry websites. His friends call him Open superstar worlddrugtracker. His New Drug Approvals, Green Chemistry International, All about drugs, Eurekamoments, Organic spectroscopy international, etc in organic chemistry are some most read blogs He has hands on experience in initiation and developing novel routes for drug molecules and implementation them on commercial scale over a 32 PLUS year tenure till date Feb 2023, Around 35 plus products in his career. He has good knowledge of IPM, GMP, Regulatory aspects, he has several International patents published worldwide . He has good proficiency in Technology transfer, Spectroscopy, Stereochemistry, Synthesis, Polymorphism etc., He suffered a paralytic stroke/ Acute Transverse mylitis in Dec 2007 and is 90 %Paralysed, He is bound to a wheelchair, this seems to have injected feul in him to help chemists all around the world, he is more active than before and is pushing boundaries, He has 100 million plus hits on Google, 2.5 lakh plus connections on all networking sites, 100 Lakh plus views on dozen plus blogs, 227 countries, 7 continents, He makes himself available to all, contact him on +91 9323115463, email, Twitter, @amcrasto , He lives and will die for his family, 90% paralysis cannot kill his soul., Notably he has 38 lakh plus views on New Drug Approvals Blog in 227 countries...... , He appreciates the help he gets from one and all, Friends, Family, Glenmark, Readers, Wellwishers, Doctors, Drug authorities, His Contacts, Physiotherapist, etc He has total of 32 International and Indian awards

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