Eurycoma longifolia, a potential phytomedicine for the treatment of cancer

Evidence of p53-mediated apoptosis in cancerous cells

Hnin Ei Thu, Zahid Hussain, Isa Naina Mohamed, Ahmad Nazrun Shuid

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Eurycoma longifolia is a well-documented herbal medicine that has gained widespread recognition due to its versatile pharmacological activities including anticancer, antimalarial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, aphrodisiac, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, anti-diabetic, antirheumatism and anti-ulcer. Plethora of in vitro and in vivo studies evidenced their excellent antiproliferative and anticancer efficacy against various types of human cancers. Objective: This review was aimed to critically analyze the therapeutic viability and anticancer efficacy of Eurycoma longifolia in the treatment of cancer and also to propose its molecular and translational mechanism of cytotoxicity against cancerous cells. Results: Among a range of medicinally active compounds isolated from various parts (roots, stem, bark and leaves) of Eurycoma longifolia, 16 compounds have shown promising anti-proliferative and anticancer efficacies. Eurycomanone, one of the most active medicinal compounds of Eurycoma longifolia, displayed a strong dose-dependent anticancer efficacy against lung carcinoma (A-549 cells) and breast cancer (MCF-7 cells); however, showed moderate efficacy against gastric (MGC-803 cells) and intestinal carcinomas (HT-29 cells). The prime mode of cytotoxicity of Eurycoma longifolia and its medicinal compounds is the induction of apoptosis (programmed cell death) via the up-regulation of the expression of p53 (tumor suppressor protein) and pro-apoptotic protein (Bax) and downregulation of the expression of anti-apoptotic protein (Bcl-2). A remarkable alleviation in the mRNA expression of various cancer-associated biomarkers including heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP), prohibitin (PHB), annexin-1 (ANX1) and endoplasmic reticulum protein-28 (ERp28) has also been evidenced. Conclusion: Eurycoma longifolia and its medicinal constituents exhibit promising anticancer efficacy and thus can be considered as potential complementary therapy for the treatment of various types of human cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1126
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent Drug Targets
Volume19
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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Eurycoma
Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
Cytotoxicity
Aphrodisiacs
Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoproteins
Apoptosis
Annexins
Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
Anti-Anxiety Agents
Antimalarials
Biomarkers
Cell death
Neoplasms
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Antioxidants
Messenger RNA
Carcinoma
HT29 Cells
Proteins
Herbal Medicine

Keywords

  • Anti-proliferative activity
  • Anticancer efficacy
  • Eurycoma longifolia
  • Eurycomanone
  • In vitro and in vivo studies
  • P-53 mediated apoptosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry

Cite this

Eurycoma longifolia, a potential phytomedicine for the treatment of cancer : Evidence of p53-mediated apoptosis in cancerous cells. / Thu, Hnin Ei; Hussain, Zahid; Naina Mohamed, Isa; Shuid, Ahmad Nazrun.

In: Current Drug Targets, Vol. 19, No. 10, 01.01.2018, p. 1109-1126.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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abstract = "Background: Eurycoma longifolia is a well-documented herbal medicine that has gained widespread recognition due to its versatile pharmacological activities including anticancer, antimalarial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, aphrodisiac, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, anti-diabetic, antirheumatism and anti-ulcer. Plethora of in vitro and in vivo studies evidenced their excellent antiproliferative and anticancer efficacy against various types of human cancers. Objective: This review was aimed to critically analyze the therapeutic viability and anticancer efficacy of Eurycoma longifolia in the treatment of cancer and also to propose its molecular and translational mechanism of cytotoxicity against cancerous cells. Results: Among a range of medicinally active compounds isolated from various parts (roots, stem, bark and leaves) of Eurycoma longifolia, 16 compounds have shown promising anti-proliferative and anticancer efficacies. Eurycomanone, one of the most active medicinal compounds of Eurycoma longifolia, displayed a strong dose-dependent anticancer efficacy against lung carcinoma (A-549 cells) and breast cancer (MCF-7 cells); however, showed moderate efficacy against gastric (MGC-803 cells) and intestinal carcinomas (HT-29 cells). The prime mode of cytotoxicity of Eurycoma longifolia and its medicinal compounds is the induction of apoptosis (programmed cell death) via the up-regulation of the expression of p53 (tumor suppressor protein) and pro-apoptotic protein (Bax) and downregulation of the expression of anti-apoptotic protein (Bcl-2). A remarkable alleviation in the mRNA expression of various cancer-associated biomarkers including heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP), prohibitin (PHB), annexin-1 (ANX1) and endoplasmic reticulum protein-28 (ERp28) has also been evidenced. Conclusion: Eurycoma longifolia and its medicinal constituents exhibit promising anticancer efficacy and thus can be considered as potential complementary therapy for the treatment of various types of human cancers.",
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AU - Naina Mohamed, Isa

AU - Shuid, Ahmad Nazrun

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AB - Background: Eurycoma longifolia is a well-documented herbal medicine that has gained widespread recognition due to its versatile pharmacological activities including anticancer, antimalarial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, aphrodisiac, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, anti-diabetic, antirheumatism and anti-ulcer. Plethora of in vitro and in vivo studies evidenced their excellent antiproliferative and anticancer efficacy against various types of human cancers. Objective: This review was aimed to critically analyze the therapeutic viability and anticancer efficacy of Eurycoma longifolia in the treatment of cancer and also to propose its molecular and translational mechanism of cytotoxicity against cancerous cells. Results: Among a range of medicinally active compounds isolated from various parts (roots, stem, bark and leaves) of Eurycoma longifolia, 16 compounds have shown promising anti-proliferative and anticancer efficacies. Eurycomanone, one of the most active medicinal compounds of Eurycoma longifolia, displayed a strong dose-dependent anticancer efficacy against lung carcinoma (A-549 cells) and breast cancer (MCF-7 cells); however, showed moderate efficacy against gastric (MGC-803 cells) and intestinal carcinomas (HT-29 cells). The prime mode of cytotoxicity of Eurycoma longifolia and its medicinal compounds is the induction of apoptosis (programmed cell death) via the up-regulation of the expression of p53 (tumor suppressor protein) and pro-apoptotic protein (Bax) and downregulation of the expression of anti-apoptotic protein (Bcl-2). A remarkable alleviation in the mRNA expression of various cancer-associated biomarkers including heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP), prohibitin (PHB), annexin-1 (ANX1) and endoplasmic reticulum protein-28 (ERp28) has also been evidenced. Conclusion: Eurycoma longifolia and its medicinal constituents exhibit promising anticancer efficacy and thus can be considered as potential complementary therapy for the treatment of various types of human cancers.

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