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Molecules 2014, 19(8), 12349-12367; doi:10.3390/molecules190812349

Berberine, an Epiphany Against Cancer

1 Istituto di Genetica Molecolare CNR, Via Abbiategrasso 207, Pavia 27100, Italy 2 Departamento de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, San Cayetano Alto, Calle París, Loja 1101608, Ecuador 3 Naxospharma, Via Giuseppe di Vittorio 70, Novate Milanese 20026, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 June 2014 / Revised: 6 August 2014 / Accepted: 11 August 2014 / Published: 15 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alkaloids: Novel Therapeutic Perspectives)
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Alkaloids are used in traditional medicine for the treatment of many diseases. These compounds are synthesized in plants as secondary metabolites and have multiple effects on cellular metabolism. Among plant derivatives with biological properties, the isoquinoline quaternary alkaloid berberine possesses a broad range of therapeutic uses against several diseases. In recent years, berberine has been reported to inhibit cell proliferation and to be cytotoxic towards cancer cells. Based on this evidence, many derivatives have been synthesized to improve berberine efficiency and selectivity; the results so far obtained on human cancer cell lines support the idea that they could be promising agents for cancer treatment. The main properties of berberine and derivatives will be illustrated.
Keywords: apoptosis; autophagy; berberine; cancer; traditional medicine apoptosis; autophagy; berberine; cancer; traditional medicine
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Guamán Ortiz, L.M.; Lombardi, P.; Tillhon, M.; Scovassi, A.I. Berberine, an Epiphany Against Cancer. Molecules 2014, 19, 12349-12367.

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