Xanthone scaffold has been regarded as an attractive chemical tool in the search for bioactive molecules with antitumor activity, and in particular two xanthone derivatives, 12-hydroxy-2,2-dimethyl-3,4-dihydro-2H,6H-pyrano [3,2-b]xanthen-6-one (4) and 3,4-dimethoxy-9-oxo-9H-xanthene-1-carbaldehyde (5), were described as a murine double minute 2 (MDM2)-p53 inhibitor and a TAp73 activator, respectively. The xanthone 5 was used as a starting point for the construction of a library of 3,4-dioxygenated xanthones bearing chemical moieties of described MDM2-p53 inhibitors. Eleven aminated xanthones were successfully synthesized and initially screened for their ability to disrupt the MDM2-p53 interaction using a yeast cell-based assay. With this approach, xanthone 37 was identified as a putative p53-activating agent through inhibition of interaction with MDM2. Xanthone 37 inhibited the growth of human colon adenocarcinoma HCT116 cell lines in a p53-dependent manner. The growth inhibitory effect of xanthone 37 was associated with the induction of G1-phase cell cycle arrest and increased protein expression levels of p53 transcriptional targets. These results demonstrated the potential usefulness of coupling amine-containing structural motifs of known MDM2-p53 disruptors into a 3,4-dioxygenated xanthone scaffold in the design of novel and potent p53 activators with antitumor activity and favorable drug-like properties. Moreover, in silico docking studies were performed in order to predict the binding poses and residues involved in the potential MDM2-p53 interaction.