Next Article in Journal
On-Line Screening, Isolation and Identification of Antioxidant Compounds of Helianthemum ruficomum
Previous Article in Journal
Poloxamer-Based Thermoreversible Gel for Topical Delivery of Emodin: Influence of P407 and P188 on Solubility of Emodin and Its Application in Cellular Activity Screening
Previous Article in Special Issue
Antiplasmodial Activity, Cytotoxicity and Structure-Activity Relationship Study of Cyclopeptide Alkaloids
Article Menu
Issue 2 (February) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Molecules 2017, 22(2), 250;

Emerging Cytotoxic Alkaloids in the Battle against Cancer: Overview of Molecular Mechanisms

Department of Biology and Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiological Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut 1107 2020, Lebanon
School of Medicine, Saba University School of Medicine, Saba, Dutch Caribbean 5016121, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michael Wink
Received: 1 December 2016 / Revised: 1 February 2017 / Accepted: 2 February 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity of Alkaloids)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1465 KB, uploaded 8 February 2017]   |  


Considered as the second deadliest disease globally, cancer has captured the attention of researchers who have been trying with perseverance to decode its hidden aspects, to find new prognosis methods, and to develop better and more effective treatments. Plants have continuously offered an excess of unique secondary metabolites with remarkable biological applications. Alkaloids, one of the most abundant metabolites, constitute a large conglomerate of basic heterocyclic nitrogen-containing natural compounds which are normally produced by plants as toxic substances. Out of the 27,000 different alkaloids, more than 17,000 have displayed diversified pharmacological properties including anticancer activities. These metabolites have been classified either according to their chemical structures or their taxonomic origin. None of the researched alkaloids have been classified according to their molecular mechanism of action against cancer. In fact, only a fraction of the tremendous number of anticancer alkaloids has been copiously mentioned in journals. Here, we aim to provide a summary of the literature on some of the promising anticancer alkaloids that have not been well discussed previously and to classify them according to their molecular mechanisms of action. This review will provide a better understanding of the anticancer mechanisms of these promising natural products that are a rich reservoir for drug discovery. View Full-Text
Keywords: alkaloids; apoptosis; cancer therapeutics; medicinal plants; molecular activity alkaloids; apoptosis; cancer therapeutics; medicinal plants; molecular activity

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Habli, Z.; Toumieh, G.; Fatfat, M.; Rahal, O.N.; Gali-Muhtasib, H. Emerging Cytotoxic Alkaloids in the Battle against Cancer: Overview of Molecular Mechanisms. Molecules 2017, 22, 250.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Molecules EISSN 1420-3049 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top