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Molecular structure of the flavone backbone with numbers

Flavones (from Latin flavus "yellow") are a class of flavonoids based on the backbone of 2-phenylchromen-4-one (2-phenyl-1-benzopyran-4-one) (as shown in the first image of this article).[1][2]

Flavones are common in foods, mainly from spices, and some yellow or orange fruits and vegetables.[1] Common flavones include apigenin (4',5,7-trihydroxyflavone), luteolin (3',4',5,7-tetrahydroxyflavone), tangeritin (4',5,6,7,8-pentamethoxyflavone), chrysin (5,7-dihydroxyflavone), and 6-hydroxyflavone.[1]

Intake and elimination[edit]

The estimated daily intake of flavones is about 2 mg per day.[1] Following ingestion and metabolism, flavones, other polyphenols, and their metabolites are absorbed poorly in body organs and are rapidly excreted in the urine, indicating mechanisms influencing their presumed absence of metabolic roles in the body.[1][3]

Drug interactions[edit]

Flavones have effects on CYP (P450) activity,[4][5] which are enzymes that metabolize most drugs in the body.

Organic chemistry[edit]

In organic chemistry several methods exist for the synthesis of flavones:

Another method is the dehydrative cyclization of certain 1,3-diaryl diketones.[6]

Flavone synthesis from 1,3-ketones

Wessely–Moser rearrangement[edit]

The Wessely–Moser rearrangement (1930)[7] has been an important tool in structure elucidation of flavonoids. It involves the conversion of 5,7,8-trimethoxyflavone into 5,6,7-trihydroxyflavone on hydrolysis of the methoxy groups to phenol groups. It also has synthetic potential for example:[8]

Wessely–Moser rearrangement

This rearrangement reaction takes place in several steps: A ring opening to the diketone, B bond rotation with formation of a favorable acetylacetone-like phenyl-ketone interaction and C hydrolysis of two methoxy groups and ring closure.

Common flavones[edit]

Flavones and their structure [9]
Name Structure R3 R5 R6 R7 R8 R2' R3' R4' R5' R6'
Flavone backbone Flavon num.svg
Primuletin –OH
Chrysin –OH –OH
Tectochrysin –OH –OCH3
Primetin –OH –OH
Apigenin –OH –OH –OH
Acacetin –OH –OH –OCH3
Genkwanin –OH –OCH3 –OH
Echioidinin –OH –OCH3 –OH
Baicalein –OH –OH –OH
Oroxylon –OH –OCH3 –OH
Negletein –OH –OH –OCH3
Norwogonin –OH –OH –OH
Wogonin –OH –OH –OCH3
Geraldone –OH –OCH3 –OH
Tithonine –OCH3 –OH –OCH3
Luteolin –OH –OH –OH –OH
6-Hydroxyluteolin –OH –OH –OH –OH –OH
Chrysoeriol –OH –OH –OCH3 –OH
Diosmetin –OH –OH –OH –OCH3
Pilloin –OH –OCH3 –OH –OCH3
Velutin –OH –OCH3 –OCH3 –OH
Norartocarpetin –OH –OH –OH –OH
Artocarpetin –OH –OCH3 –OH –OH
Scutellarein –OH –OH –OH –OH
Hispidulin –OH –OCH3 –OH –OH
Sorbifolin –OH –OH –OCH3 –OH
Pectolinarigenin –OH –OCH3 –OH –OCH3
Cirsimaritin –OH –OCH3 –OCH3 –OH
Mikanin –OH –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3
Isoscutellarein –OH –OH –OH –OH
Zapotinin –OH –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3
Zapotin –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3
Cerrosillin –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3
Alnetin –OH –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3
Tricetin –OH –OH –OH –OH –OH
Tricin –OH –OH –OCH3 –OH –OCH3
Corymbosin –OH –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3
Nepetin –OH –OCH3 –OH –OH –OH
Pedalitin –OH –OH –OCH3 –OH –OH
Nodifloretin –OH –OH –OH –OCH3 –OH
Jaceosidin –OH –OCH3 –OH –OCH3 –OH
Cirsiliol –OH –OCH3 –OCH3 –OH –OH
Eupatilin –OH –OCH3 –OH –OCH3 –OCH3
Cirsilineol –OH –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OH
Eupatorin –OH –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OH
Sinensetin –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3
Hypolaetin –OH –OH –OH –OH –OH
Onopordin –OH –OH –OCH3 –OH –OH
Wightin –OH –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OH
Nevadensin –OH –OCH3 –OH –OCH3 –OCH3
Xanthomicrol –OH –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OH
Tangeretin –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3
Serpyllin –OH –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3
Sudachitin –OH –OCH3 –OH –OCH3 –OCH3 –OH
Acerosin –OH –OCH3 –OH –OCH3 –OH –OCH3
Hymenoxin –OH –OCH3 –OH –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3
Gardenin D –OH –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OH –OCH3
Nobiletin –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3
Scaposin –OH –OCH3 –OH –OCH3 –OCH3 –OCH3 –OH
Name Structure R3 R5 R6 R7 R8 R2' R3' R4' R5' R6'


In one preliminary 2021 study, flavone intake was associated with lower odds of subjective cognitive decline after adjustment for age, total energy intake, major nondietary factors, and specific dietary factors.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Flavonoids". Micronutrient Information Center, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. November 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Flavone". ChemSpider, Royal Society of Chemistry. 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  3. ^ David Stauth (5 March 2007). "Studies force new view on biology of flavonoids". EurekAlert!; Adapted from a news release issued by Oregon State University.
  4. ^ Cermak R, Wolffram S., The potential of flavonoids to influence drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics by local gastrointestinal mechanisms,Curr Drug Metab. 2006 Oct;7(7):729-44.
  5. ^ Si D, Wang Y, Zhou YH, et al. (March 2009). "Mechanism of CYP2C9 inhibition by flavones and flavonols". Drug Metab. Dispos. 37 (3): 629–34. doi:10.1124/dmd.108.023416. PMID 19074529.[1]
  6. ^ Sarda SR, Pathan MY, Paike VV, Pachmase PR, Jadhav WN, Pawar RP (2006). "A facile synthesis of flavones using recyclable ionic liquid under microwave irradiation". Arkivoc. xvi (16): 43–8. doi:10.3998/ark.5550190.0007.g05.
  7. ^ Wessely F, Moser GH (December 1930). "Synthese und Konstitution des Skutellareins". Monatshefte für Chemie. 56 (1): 97–105. doi:10.1007/BF02716040.
  8. ^ Larget R, Lockhart B, Renard P, Largeron M (April 2000). "A convenient extension of the Wessely-Moser rearrangement for the synthesis of substituted alkylaminoflavones as neuroprotective agents in vitro". Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 10 (8): 835–8. doi:10.1016/S0960-894X(00)00110-4. PMID 10782697.
  9. ^ Harborne, Jeffrey B.; Marby, Helga; Marby, T. J. (1975). The Flavonoids - Springer. doi:10.1007/978-1-4899-2909-9. ISBN 978-0-12-324602-8.
  10. ^ Yeh, Tian-Shin; Yuan, Changzheng; Ascherio, Alberto; Rosner, Bernard A.; Willett, Walter C.; Blacker, Deborah (2021-09-07). "Long-term Dietary Flavonoid Intake and Subjective Cognitive Decline in US Men and Women". Neurology. 97 (10): e1041–e1056. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000012454. ISSN 0028-3878. PMC 8448553. PMID 34321362.

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