Author(s): Gach K, Dugosz A, Janecka A
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Abstract Sesquiterpene lactones (SLs) are plant-derived compounds that are abundant in plants of the Asteraceae family and posses a broad spectrum of biological activities, ranging from anti-inflammatory, phytotoxic, antibacterial, and antifungal to cytotoxic/anticancer. In recent years, anticancer properties of these compounds and molecular mechanisms of their action have been studied extensively on numerous cell lines and also on experimental animals. SLs have been shown to disrupt cellular redox balance and induce oxidative stress in cancer cells. Oxidative stress is associated with increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which in turn can promote many aspects of cancer development and progression. On the other hand, ROS, which initiate apoptosis via the mitochondrial-dependent pathway, can also be used to kill cancer cells, if they can be generated in cancer. One of the most important regulators of the redox equilibrium in the cells is reduced glutathione (GSH). In cancer cells, GSH levels are higher than in normal cells. Therefore, SL can induce apoptosis of cancer cells by decreasing intracellular GSH levels. The use of SL which can affect intracellular redox signaling pathways can be considered an interesting approach for cancer treatment. In this review, we give a brief description of the mechanisms and pathways involved in oxidative stress-induced anticancer activity of SL.
This article was published in Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol
and referenced in Medicinal Chemistry