Chemistry of silybin
Covering: 1959 to 2013
Silybin, a secondary metabolite isolated from the seeds of the blessed milk thistle (Silybum marianum) was discovered as the first member of a new family of natural compounds called flavonolignans in 1959. Over the years it has received the research attention of many organic chemists. This research has resulted in a number of semisynthetic derivatives prepared in an effort to modulate and better target the biological activities of silybin or to improve its physical properties, such as its solubility. A fundamental breakthrough in silybin chemistry was the determination of the absolute configurations of silybin A and silybin B, and the development of methods for their separation. This review covers articles dealing with silybin chemistry and also summarizes all the derivatives prepared.