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Review

Therapeutic Emergence of Rhein as a Potential Anticancer Drug: A Review of Its Molecular Targets and Anticancer Properties

1
Cancer Biology Laboratory and DBT-AIST International Laboratory for Advanced Biomedicine (DAILAB), Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, Assam 781039, India
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Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER, Guwahati), Assam 781125, India
3
College of Korean Medicine, Dongguk University, 32 Dongguk-ro, Ilsandong-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do 10326, Korea
4
Department of Science in Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 24 Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02447, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sokcheon Pak and Soo Liang Ooi
Molecules 2020, 25(10), 2278; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25102278
Received: 7 April 2020 / Revised: 2 May 2020 / Accepted: 7 May 2020 / Published: 12 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals in Immune Function)
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is the second-highest cause of mortality in the world, and it kills nearly 9.6 million people annually. Besides the fatality of the disease, poor prognosis, cost of conventional therapies, and associated side-effects add more burden to patients, post-diagnosis. Therefore, the search for alternatives for the treatment of cancer that are safe, multi-targeted, effective, and cost-effective has compelled us to go back to ancient systems of medicine. Natural herbs and plant formulations are laden with a variety of phytochemicals. One such compound is rhein, which is an anthraquinone derived from the roots of Rheum spp. and Polygonum multiflorum. In ethnomedicine, these plants are used for the treatment of inflammation, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and bacterial and helminthic infections. Increasing evidence suggests that this compound can suppress breast cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, etc. in both in vitro and in vivo settings. Recent studies have reported that this compound modulates different signaling cascades in cancer cells and can prevent angiogenesis and progression of different types of cancers. The present review highlights the cancer-preventing and therapeutic properties of rhein based on the available literature, which will help to extend further research to establish the chemoprotective and therapeutic roles of rhein compared to other conventional drugs. Future pharmacokinetic and toxicological studies could support this compound as an effective anticancer agent. View Full-Text
Keywords: rhein; cancer; phytochemical; molecular targets; chemoprevention; chemotherapy rhein; cancer; phytochemical; molecular targets; chemoprevention; chemotherapy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Henamayee, S.; Banik, K.; Sailo, B.L.; Shabnam, B.; Harsha, C.; Srilakshmi, S.; VGM, N.; Baek, S.H.; Ahn, K.S.; Kunnumakkara, A.B. Therapeutic Emergence of Rhein as a Potential Anticancer Drug: A Review of Its Molecular Targets and Anticancer Properties. Molecules 2020, 25, 2278. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25102278

AMA Style

Henamayee S, Banik K, Sailo BL, Shabnam B, Harsha C, Srilakshmi S, VGM N, Baek SH, Ahn KS, Kunnumakkara AB. Therapeutic Emergence of Rhein as a Potential Anticancer Drug: A Review of Its Molecular Targets and Anticancer Properties. Molecules. 2020; 25(10):2278. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25102278

Chicago/Turabian Style

Henamayee, Sahu, Kishore Banik, Bethsebie L. Sailo, Bano Shabnam, Choudhary Harsha, Satti Srilakshmi, Naidu VGM, Seung H. Baek, Kwang S. Ahn, and Ajaikumar B. Kunnumakkara. 2020. "Therapeutic Emergence of Rhein as a Potential Anticancer Drug: A Review of Its Molecular Targets and Anticancer Properties" Molecules 25, no. 10: 2278. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25102278

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