Special Issue "Anticancer Compounds in Medicinal Plants — In Honour of the 20th Anniversary of Pharmaceuticals"

A special issue of Pharmaceuticals (ISSN 1424-8247). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 17 May 2024 | Viewed by 847

Special Issue Editors

Centro de Química - Vila Real, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
Interests: organic synthesis; functional dyes; structural analysis; natural products chemistry; bioactive compounds
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO), Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança, Portugal
Interests: natural bioactive compounds; medicinal chemistry; bioactivity and toxicology; functional applications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cancer, in its multiple forms, is presently one of the leading causes of death in both developing and developed countries and it has become a major health problem and a burden for most public health care systems worldwide. Although several decades of drug discovery and development have provided a number of useful chemotherapeutic agents, there is a continuous interest in the search for new chemical entities with improved anticancer effectiveness and safety.

Since ancient times, humankind has relied on herbal medicines for the treatment and prevention of a plethora of different ailments and their beneficial properties have been recognized both by traditional medicines and more contemporary herbalism practices. Medicinal plants, which have contributed to the collection of compounds that are now at our disposal for cancer therapy, constitute a reservoir of natural products that are able to provide new molecules with anticancer activity and new molecular frameworks that have inspired the design of derivatives with improved therapeutic ability. As plant-derived compounds are often devoid of cytotoxicity to normal human cells, the attention of scientific research has been increasingly driven towards natural compounds, as they may represent a source of anticancer molecules with less toxic side effects compared to current chemotherapeutic drugs.

This Special Issue “Anticancer Compounds in Medicinal Plants” invites researchers to contribute with original research or review articles related to natural compounds with anticancer properties isolated from medicinal plants. The contributions include the discovery of new compounds, the in vitro and in vivo assessment of the anticancer properties of medicinal plant-derived compounds, as well as the elucidation of their mechanisms of action and the design of derivatives with improved efficacy.

Dr. Paulo Santos
Dr. Lillian Barros
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pharmaceuticals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • natural products
  • phytochemicals
  • cancer
  • secondary metabolites
  • medicinal plants

Published Papers (1 paper)

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20 pages, 4816 KiB  
Imperatorin Restores Chemosensitivity of Multidrug-Resistant Cancer Cells by Antagonizing ABCG2-Mediated Drug Transport
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(11), 1595; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16111595 - 12 Nov 2023
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The high expression of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) drug transporter ABCG2 in cancer cells contributes to the emergence of multidrug resistance (MDR) in individuals afflicted with either solid tumors or blood cancers. MDR poses a major impediment in the realm of clinical cancer [...] Read more.
The high expression of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) drug transporter ABCG2 in cancer cells contributes to the emergence of multidrug resistance (MDR) in individuals afflicted with either solid tumors or blood cancers. MDR poses a major impediment in the realm of clinical cancer chemotherapy. Recently, substantial endeavors have been dedicated to identifying bioactive compounds isolated from nature capable of counteracting ABCG2-mediated MDR in cancer cells. Imperatorin, a natural coumarin derivative renowned for its diverse pharmacological properties, has not previously been explored for its impact on cancer drug resistance. This study investigates the chemosensitizing potential of imperatorin in ABCG2-overexpressing cancer cells. Experimental results reveal that at sub-toxic concentrations, imperatorin significantly antagonizes the activity of ABCG2 and reverses ABCG2-mediated MDR in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, biochemical data and in silico analysis of imperatorin docking to the inward-open conformation of human ABCG2 indicate that imperatorin directly interacts with multiple residues situated within the transmembrane substrate-binding pocket of ABCG2. Taken together, these results furnish substantiation that imperatorin holds promise for further evaluation as a potent inhibitor of ABCG2, warranting exploration in combination drug therapy to enhance the effectiveness of therapeutic agents for patients afflicted with tumors that exhibit high levels of ABCG2. Full article
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