Topic Editors

Department of Pharmacy, University “G. D’Annunzio”, Chieti, Italy
Department of Pharmacy, G. d’Annunzio University, 66100 Chieti, Italy
Department of Pharmacy, “G. d’Annunzio” University of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy

Antitumor Activity of Natural Products and Related Compounds

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closed (31 May 2023)
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Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in humans today, and the number of people affected by cancer is growing. As a result, the search for new antitumor agents that may be more effective and secure than existing treatments is an ongoing effort.

Nature provides a wide range of compounds with a great variety of chemical scaffolds and distinct bioactivity profiles. Indeed, natural products are a rich source of bioactive molecules that, over the years, have found application in the treatment of many diseases, including cancer. Natural products have played an important role in chemotherapy and chemoprevention by providing antitumor drugs such as camptothecin, doxorubicin, paclitaxel, vinblastine, and vincristine, as well as understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying antitumor activity. Significant advances in natural source isolation and extraction techniques have enabled the identification of novel lead compounds as useful starting points for the generation of optimized molecules with enhanced therapeutic potential via semi-synthetic or synthetic processes.

The focus of this Topic is on natural substances derived from plants or animals, as well as their synthetic derivatives, which have been investigated for their ability to counteract cancer progression.

Dr. Barbara De Filippis
Dr. Alessandra Ammazzalorso
Dr. Marialuigia Fantacuzzi
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • anticancer
  • antiproliferation
  • natural compounds
  • natural derivatives
  • drug discovery
  • bioactive natural products
  • synthetic compounds
  • medicinal chemistry
  • computational chemistry
  • biological activity
  • structure–activity relationship
  • structure-based drug design
  • target identification and validation

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Biomolecules
biomolecules
5.5 8.3 2011 16.9 Days CHF 2700
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ijms
5.6 7.8 2000 16.3 Days CHF 2900
Molecules
molecules
4.6 6.7 1996 14.6 Days CHF 2700
Scientia Pharmaceutica
scipharm
2.5 6.4 1930 22.7 Days CHF 1000
Cancers
cancers
5.2 7.4 2009 17.9 Days CHF 2900
Marine Drugs
marinedrugs
5.4 9.6 2003 14 Days CHF 2900

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Published Papers (34 papers)

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5 pages, 227 KiB  
Editorial
Anticancer Activity of Natural Products and Related Compounds
by Barbara De Filippis, Marialuigia Fantacuzzi and Alessandra Ammazzalorso
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(22), 16507; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242216507 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 638
Abstract
Nature has always been a precious source of bioactive molecules which are used for the treatment of various diseases [...] Full article
23 pages, 7540 KiB  
Article
Immuno-Modulatory Effects of Korean Mistletoe in MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells and THP-1 Macrophages
by Wan-Taek Lim, Chang-Eui Hong and Su-Yun Lyu
Sci. Pharm. 2023, 91(4), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/scipharm91040048 - 18 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1762
Abstract
Korean mistletoe (Viscum album var. coloratum) has been traditionally used as a remedy for cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. This study investigated the immuno-modulatory effects of Korean mistletoe water extract, specifically on MDA-MB-231 cells, a highly metastatic breast cancer cell line, when [...] Read more.
Korean mistletoe (Viscum album var. coloratum) has been traditionally used as a remedy for cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. This study investigated the immuno-modulatory effects of Korean mistletoe water extract, specifically on MDA-MB-231 cells, a highly metastatic breast cancer cell line, when co-cultured with THP-1 human macrophage cells. When compared to MDA-MB-231 cells cultured alone, the co-culture of MDA-MB-231/THP-1 cells treated with mistletoe extract showed a significant reduction in IL-6 secretion. Additionally, these co-cultures exhibited elevated levels of IL-4, TGF-β, and IFN-y. These results suggest that water extracts from mistletoe have the potential to induce mitochondria-targeted apoptosis in MDA-MB 231 cells stimulated by THP macrophages. Regarding apoptosis, in MDA-MB-231 cells co-cultured with THP-1 macrophages, mistletoe water extract treatment triggered a significant increase in Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, caspase-3 activation, and PARP inactivation. In addition, there was a significant increase in E-cadherin and a decrease in N-cadherin. Treatment of Korean mistletoe also led to significant reductions in both MMP-2 and -9. Furthermore, inhibition of cell migration in MDA-MB-231/THP-1 co-cultured cells was observed. In summary, this study highlights the potential of Korean mistletoe as a prospective drug for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer, particularly through its ability to regulate human immunity. Full article
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28 pages, 4967 KiB  
Review
Natural Products and Small Molecules Targeting Cellular Ceramide Metabolism to Enhance Apoptosis in Cancer Cells
by Farjana Afrin, Sameena Mateen, Jordan Oman, James C. K. Lai, Jared J. Barrott and Srinath Pashikanti
Cancers 2023, 15(18), 4645; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15184645 - 20 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1180
Abstract
Molecular targeting strategies have been used for years in order to control cancer progression and are often based on targeting various enzymes involved in metabolic pathways. Keeping this in mind, it is essential to determine the role of each enzyme in a particular [...] Read more.
Molecular targeting strategies have been used for years in order to control cancer progression and are often based on targeting various enzymes involved in metabolic pathways. Keeping this in mind, it is essential to determine the role of each enzyme in a particular metabolic pathway. In this review, we provide in-depth information on various enzymes such as ceramidase, sphingosine kinase, sphingomyelin synthase, dihydroceramide desaturase, and ceramide synthase which are associated with various types of cancers. We also discuss the physicochemical properties of well-studied inhibitors with natural product origins and their related structures in terms of these enzymes. Targeting ceramide metabolism exhibited promising mono- and combination therapies at preclinical stages in preventing cancer progression and cemented the significance of sphingolipid metabolism in cancer treatments. Targeting ceramide-metabolizing enzymes will help medicinal chemists design potent and selective small molecules for treating cancer progression at various levels. Full article
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17 pages, 3851 KiB  
Article
Light-Mediated Transformation of Renieramycins and Semisynthesis of 4′-Pyridinecarbonyl-Substituted Renieramycin-Type Derivatives as Potential Cytotoxic Agents against Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Cells
by Suwimon Sinsook, Koonchira Buaban, Iksen Iksen, Korrakod Petsri, Bhurichaya Innets, Chaisak Chansriniyom, Khanit Suwanborirux, Masashi Yokoya, Naoki Saito, Varisa Pongrakhananon, Pithi Chanvorachote and Supakarn Chamni
Mar. Drugs 2023, 21(7), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/md21070400 - 13 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1703
Abstract
The semisynthesis of renieramycin-type derivatives was achieved under mild and facile conditions by attaching a 1,3-dioxole-bridged phenolic moiety onto ring A of the renieramycin structure and adding a 4′-pyridinecarbonyl ester substituent at its C-5 or C-22 position. These were accomplished through a light-induced [...] Read more.
The semisynthesis of renieramycin-type derivatives was achieved under mild and facile conditions by attaching a 1,3-dioxole-bridged phenolic moiety onto ring A of the renieramycin structure and adding a 4′-pyridinecarbonyl ester substituent at its C-5 or C-22 position. These were accomplished through a light-induced intramolecular photoredox reaction using blue light (4 W) and Steglich esterification, respectively. Renieramycin M (4), a bis-tetrahydroisoquinolinequinone compound isolated from the Thai blue sponge (Xestospongia sp.), served as the starting material. The cytotoxicity of the 10 natural and semisynthesized renieramycins against non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines was evaluated. The 5-O-(4′-pyridinecarbonyl) renieramycin T (11) compound exhibited high cytotoxicity with half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of 35.27 ± 1.09 and 34.77 ± 2.19 nM against H290 and H460 cells, respectively. Notably, the potency of compound 11 was 2-fold more than that of renieramycin T (7) and equal to those of 4 and doxorubicin. Interestingly, the renieramycin-type derivatives with a hydroxyl group at C-5 and C-22 exhibited weak cytotoxicity. In silico molecular docking and dynamics studies confirmed that the mitogen-activated proteins, kinase 1 and 3 (MAPK1 and MAPK3), are suitable targets for 11. Thus, the structure–cytotoxicity study of renieramycins was extended to facilitate the development of potential anticancer agents for NSCLC cells. Full article
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20 pages, 2851 KiB  
Article
Mitochondria-Targeting 1,5-Diazacyclooctane-Spacered Triterpene Rhodamine Conjugates Exhibit Cytotoxicity at Sub-Nanomolar Concentration against Breast Cancer Cells
by Niels Heise, Selina Becker, Thomas Mueller, Matthias Bache, René Csuk and Antje Güttler
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(13), 10695; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241310695 - 27 Jun 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1197
Abstract
1,5-Diazacyclooctane was prepared by a simple synthetic sequence and coupled to pentacyclic triterpenoic acids oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, betulinic acid, platanic acid, and asiatic acid; these amides were activated with oxalyl chloride and reacted with rhodamine B or rhodamine 101 to yield conjugates. [...] Read more.
1,5-Diazacyclooctane was prepared by a simple synthetic sequence and coupled to pentacyclic triterpenoic acids oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, betulinic acid, platanic acid, and asiatic acid; these amides were activated with oxalyl chloride and reacted with rhodamine B or rhodamine 101 to yield conjugates. The conjugates were screened in SRB assays with various human breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231, HS578T, MCF-7, and T47D) and found to exert cytotoxic activity even at a low concentration. Therefore, for an asiatic acid rhodamine 101 conjugate (28), an IC50 = 0.60 nM was determined and found to induce apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 and HS578T cells. Extra experiments showed the compound to act as a mitocan and to induce inhibition of proliferation or growth arrest in MDA-MB-231 cells at lower doses followed by an induction of apoptosis at higher doses. Furthermore, differential responses to proliferation inhibition and apoptosis induction may explain differential sensitivity of mammary cell lines to compound 28. Full article
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16 pages, 6586 KiB  
Article
Modulation of the Endomembrane System by the Anticancer Natural Product Superstolide/ZJ-101
by Phillip R. Sanchez, Sarah A. Head, Shan Qian, Haibo Qiu, Avishek Roy, Zhendong Jin, Wei Zheng and Jun O. Liu
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(11), 9575; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24119575 - 31 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2125
Abstract
Marine natural products represent a unique source for clinically relevant drugs due to their vast molecular and mechanistic diversity. ZJ-101 is a structurally simplified analog of the marine natural product superstolide A, isolated from the New Caledonian sea sponge Neosiphonia Superstes. The [...] Read more.
Marine natural products represent a unique source for clinically relevant drugs due to their vast molecular and mechanistic diversity. ZJ-101 is a structurally simplified analog of the marine natural product superstolide A, isolated from the New Caledonian sea sponge Neosiphonia Superstes. The mechanistic activity of the superstolides has until recently remained a mystery. Here, we have identified potent antiproliferative and antiadhesive effects of ZJ-101 on cancer cell lines. Furthermore, through dose–response transcriptomics, we found unique dysregulation of the endomembrane system by ZJ-101 including a selective inhibition of O-glycosylation via lectin and glycomics analysis. We applied this mechanism to a triple-negative breast cancer spheroid model and identified a potential for the reversal of 3D-induced chemoresistance, suggesting a potential for ZJ-101 as a synergistic therapeutic agent. Full article
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13 pages, 4420 KiB  
Article
α-Tocotrienol and Redox-Silent Analogs of Vitamin E Enhances Bortezomib Sensitivity in Solid Cancer Cells through Modulation of NFE2L1
by Kyota Ishii, Mayuko Hido, Misaki Sakamura, Nantiga Virgona and Tomohiro Yano
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(11), 9382; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24119382 - 27 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1617
Abstract
Proteasome inhibitors (PIs) have emerged as an attractive novel cancer therapy. However, most solid cancers are seemingly resistant to PIs. The activation of transcription factor Nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor-1 (NFE2L1) has been characterized as a potential resistance response to protect and [...] Read more.
Proteasome inhibitors (PIs) have emerged as an attractive novel cancer therapy. However, most solid cancers are seemingly resistant to PIs. The activation of transcription factor Nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor-1 (NFE2L1) has been characterized as a potential resistance response to protect and restore proteasome activity in cancer cells. In this study, we demonstrated that α-Tocotrienol (T3) and redox-silent analogs of vitamin E (TOS, T3E) enhanced the sensitivity of bortezomib (BTZ), a proteasome inhibitor, in solid cancers through modulation of NFE2L1. In BTZ treatment, all of T3, TOS, and T3E inhibited an increase in the protein levels of NFE2L1, the expression levels of proteasome-related proteins, as well as the recovery of proteasome activity. Moreover, the combination of one of T3, TOS, or T3E and BTZ induced a significant decrease in cell viability in solid cancer cell lines. These findings suggested that the inactivation of NFE2L1 by T3, TOS, and T3E is essential to potentiate the cytotoxic effect of the proteasome inhibitor, BTZ, in solid cancers. Full article
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15 pages, 3519 KiB  
Article
JI017 Induces Cell Autophagy and Apoptosis via Elevated Levels of Reactive Oxygen Species in Human Lung Cancer Cells
by Jin Mo Ku, Min Jeong Kim, Yu-Jeong Choi, Seo Yeon Lee, Ji-Yeong Im, Yong-Kyu Jo, Sanghoon Yoon, Ji-Hyun Kim, Jie Won Cha, Yong Cheol Shin and Seong-Gyu Ko
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7528; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087528 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1630
Abstract
Lung cancer is one of the most common malignant tumors and a leading cause of cancer-related death in the worldwide. Various anticancer drugs, such as cisplatin and pemetrexed, have been developed for lung cancer treatment but due their drug resistance and side effects, [...] Read more.
Lung cancer is one of the most common malignant tumors and a leading cause of cancer-related death in the worldwide. Various anticancer drugs, such as cisplatin and pemetrexed, have been developed for lung cancer treatment but due their drug resistance and side effects, novel treatments need to be developed. In this study, the efficacy of the natural drug JI017, which is known to have few side effects, was tested in lung cancer cells. JI017 inhibited A549, H460, and H1299 cell proliferation. JI017 induced apoptosis, regulated apoptotic molecules, and inhibited colony formation. Additionally, JI017 increased intracellular ROS generation. JI017 downregulated PI3K, AKT, and mTOR expression. JI017 increased the cytosolic accumulation of LC3. We found that JI017 promoted apoptosis through ROS-induced autophagy. Additionally, the xenograft tumor size was smaller in JI017-treated mice. We found that JI017 treatment increased MDA concentrations, decreased Ki-67 protein levels, and increased cleaved caspase-3 and LC3 levels in vivo. JI017 decreased cell proliferation and increased apoptosis by inducing autophagy signaling in H460 and H1299 lung cancer cells. Targeting JI017 and autophagy signaling could be useful in lung cancer treatment. Full article
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15 pages, 5828 KiB  
Article
A Novel Aldisine Derivative Exhibits Potential Antitumor Effects by Targeting JAK/STAT3 Signaling
by Dong-Ping Wang, Li-Hong Wu, Rui Li, Na He, Qian-Yue Zhang, Chen-Yang Zhao and Tao Jiang
Mar. Drugs 2023, 21(4), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/md21040218 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1703
Abstract
The JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway is aberrantly hyperactivated in many cancers, promoting cell proliferation, survival, invasiveness, and metastasis. Thus, inhibitors targeting JAK/STAT3 have enormous potential for cancer treatment. Herein, we modified aldisine derivatives by introducing the isothiouronium group, which can improve the antitumor activity [...] Read more.
The JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway is aberrantly hyperactivated in many cancers, promoting cell proliferation, survival, invasiveness, and metastasis. Thus, inhibitors targeting JAK/STAT3 have enormous potential for cancer treatment. Herein, we modified aldisine derivatives by introducing the isothiouronium group, which can improve the antitumor activity of the compounds. We performed a high-throughput screen of 3157 compounds and identified compounds 11a, 11b, and 11c, which contain a pyrrole [2,3-c] azepine structure linked to an isothiouronium group through different lengths of carbon alkyl chains and significantly inhibited JAK/STAT3 activities. Further results showed that compound 11c exhibited the optimal antiproliferative activity and was a pan-JAKs inhibitor capable of inhibiting constitutive and IL-6-induced STAT3 activation. In addition, compound 11c influenced STAT3 downstream gene expression (Bcl-xl, C-Myc, and Cyclin D1) and induced the apoptosis of A549 and DU145 cells in a dose-dependent manner. The antitumor effects of 11c were further demonstrated in an in vivo subcutaneous tumor xenograft experiment with DU145 cells. Taken together, we designed and synthesized a novel small molecule JAKs inhibitor targeting the JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway, which has predicted therapeutic potential for JAK/STAT3 overactivated cancer treatment. Full article
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17 pages, 3552 KiB  
Article
Anti-Proliferative and Pro-Apoptotic vLMW Fucoidan Formulas Decrease PD-L1 Surface Expression in EBV Latency III and DLBCL Tumoral B-Cells by Decreasing Actin Network
by Jennifer Saliba, Chanez Manseur, Hugo Groult, Hussein Akil, Mona Tannoury, Danielle Troutaud, Thierry Maugard, Jean Feuillard, Ingrid Arnaudin and Chantal Jayat-Vignoles
Mar. Drugs 2023, 21(2), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/md21020132 - 18 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2948
Abstract
Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) infects 95% of the world’s population and persists latently in the body. It immortalizes B-cells and is associated with lymphomas. LCLs (lymphoblastoid cell lines, EBV latency III B-cells) inhibit anti-tumoral T-cell response following PD-L1 overexpression (programmed death-ligand 1 immune checkpoint). [...] Read more.
Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) infects 95% of the world’s population and persists latently in the body. It immortalizes B-cells and is associated with lymphomas. LCLs (lymphoblastoid cell lines, EBV latency III B-cells) inhibit anti-tumoral T-cell response following PD-L1 overexpression (programmed death-ligand 1 immune checkpoint). Many cancer cells, including some DLBCLs (diffuse large B-cell lymphomas), also overexpress PD-L1. Immunotherapies are based on inhibition of PD-L1/PD-1 interactions but present some dose-dependent toxicities. We aim to find new strategies to improve their efficiency by decreasing PD-L1 expression. Fucoidan, a polysaccharide extracted from brown seaweed, exhibits immunomodulatory and anti-tumor activities depending on its polymerization degree, but data are scarce on lymphoma cells or immune checkpoints. LCLs and DLBCLs cells were treated with native fucoidan (Fucus vesiculosus) or original very-low-molecular-weight fucoidan formulas (vLMW-F). We observed cell proliferation decrease and apoptosis induction increase with vLMW-F and no toxicity on normal B- and T-cells. We highlighted a decrease in transcriptional and PD-L1 surface expression, even more efficient for vLMW than native fucoidan. This can be explained by actin network alteration, suggesting lower fusion of secretory vesicles carrying PD-L1 with the plasma membrane. We propose vLMW-F as potential adjuvants to immunotherapy due to their anti-proliferative and proapoptotic effects and ability to decrease PD-L1 membrane expression. Full article
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19 pages, 5632 KiB  
Article
Genistein Inhibits Proliferation and Metastasis in Human Cervical Cancer Cells through the Focal Adhesion Kinase Signaling Pathway: A Network Pharmacology-Based In Vitro Study in HeLa Cells
by Tingting Chen, Juan Wang, Min Li, Qingqing Wu and Shuna Cui
Molecules 2023, 28(4), 1919; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28041919 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1953
Abstract
Previous studies have provided evidence that genistein exerts a therapeutic effect on different tumor cells. However, the mechanism of action of genistein against cervical cancer cells remains largely unknown. The aim of this study was to comprehensively decipher the anti-metastatic effect and molecular [...] Read more.
Previous studies have provided evidence that genistein exerts a therapeutic effect on different tumor cells. However, the mechanism of action of genistein against cervical cancer cells remains largely unknown. The aim of this study was to comprehensively decipher the anti-metastatic effect and molecular mechanism of genistein action on cervical cancer cells. We developed an integrated strategy from genotype to phenotype, combining network pharmacology and a transcriptome screening approach, to elucidate the underlying mechanism of action of genistein against human cervical cancer cells. In silico studies predicted that the focal adhesion pathway may be an important signaling cascade targeted by genistein treatment. Using RNA sequencing analysis, representative genes of the focal adhesion pathway were demonstrated to be significantly downregulated. Phenotypic studies revealed that genistein demonstrated strong anti-proliferative and anti-metastatic activity in HeLa cells. Moreover, genistein modulated this activity in a concentration-dependent manner. Genistein also inhibited both the activation and gene expression of FAK (Focal Adhesion Kinase) and paxillin. In addition, vimentin and β-catenin protein expression, and Snail and Twist gene expression, were strongly inhibited by genistein. Our findings provide strong evidence for a pleiotropic effect of genistein on cervical cancer cells, mediated through the focal adhesion pathway. Full article
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18 pages, 1215 KiB  
Article
Synthesis of Oleanolic Acid-Dithiocarbamate Conjugates and Evaluation of Their Broad-Spectrum Antitumor Activities
by Liyao Tang, Yan Zhang, Jinrun Xu, Qingfan Yang, Fukuan Du, Xu Wu, Mingxing Li, Jing Shen, Shuai Deng, Yueshui Zhao, Zhangang Xiao and Yu Chen
Molecules 2023, 28(3), 1414; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28031414 - 02 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1674
Abstract
Efficient and mild synthetic routes for bioactive natural product derivatives are of current interest for drug discovery. Herein, on the basis of the pharmacophore hybrid strategy, we report a two-step protocol to obtain a series of structurally novel oleanolic acid (OA)-dithiocarbamate conjugates in [...] Read more.
Efficient and mild synthetic routes for bioactive natural product derivatives are of current interest for drug discovery. Herein, on the basis of the pharmacophore hybrid strategy, we report a two-step protocol to obtain a series of structurally novel oleanolic acid (OA)-dithiocarbamate conjugates in mild conditions with high yields. Moreover, biological evaluations indicated that representative compound 3e exhibited the most potent and broad-spectrum antiproliferative effects against Panc1, A549, Hep3B, Huh-7, HT-29, and Hela cells with low cytotoxicity on normal cells. In terms of the IC50 values, these OA-dithiocarbamate conjugates were up to 30-fold more potent than the natural product OA. These compounds may be promising hit compounds for the development of novel anti-cancer drugs. Full article
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18 pages, 3529 KiB  
Article
Phytochemical Analysis and Anticancer Properties of Drimia maritima Bulb Extracts on Colorectal Cancer Cells
by Khairallah Al-Abdallat, Maher Obeidat, Nidaa A. Ababneh, Suzan Zalloum, Sabal Al Hadidi, Yahya Al-Abdallat, Malek Zihlif and Abdalla Awidi
Molecules 2023, 28(3), 1215; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28031215 - 26 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1748
Abstract
Cancer is a worldwide health problem and is the second leading cause of death after heart disease. Due to the high cost and severe side effects associated with chemotherapy treatments, natural products with anticancer therapeutic potential may play a promising role in anticancer [...] Read more.
Cancer is a worldwide health problem and is the second leading cause of death after heart disease. Due to the high cost and severe side effects associated with chemotherapy treatments, natural products with anticancer therapeutic potential may play a promising role in anticancer therapy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the cytotoxic and apoptotic characteristics of the aqueous Drimia maritima bulb extract on Caco-2 and COLO-205 colorectal cancer cells. In order to reach such a purpose, the chemical composition was examined using the GC-MS method, and the selective antiproliferative effect was determined in colon cancer cell lines in normal gingival fibroblasts. The intracellular ROS, mitochondrial membrane potential, and gene expression changes in selected genes (CASP8, TNF-α, and IL-6 genes) were assessed to determine the molecular mechanism of the antitumor effect of the extract. GC-MS results revealed the presence of fifty-seven compounds, and Proscillaridin A was the predominant secondary metabolite in the extract. The IC50 of D. maritima bulb extract on Caco-2, COLO-205, and the normal human gingival fibroblasts were obtained at 0.9 µg/mL, 2.3 µg/mL, and 13.1 µg/mL, respectively. The apoptotic effect assay indicated that the bulb extract induced apoptosis in both colon cancer cell lines. D. maritima bulb extract was only able to induce statistically significant ROS levels in COLO-205 cells in a dose-dependent manner. The mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) revealed a significant decrease in the MMP of Caco-2 and COLO-205 to various concentrations of the bulb extract. At the molecular level, RT-qPCR was used to assess gene expression of CASP8, TNF-α, and IL-6 genes in Caco-2 and COLO-205 cancer cells. The results showed that the expression of pro-inflammatory genes TNF-α and IL-6 were upregulated. The apoptotic initiator gene CASP8 was also upregulated in the Caco-2 cell line and did not reach significance in COLO-205 cells. These results lead to the conclusion that D. maritima extract induced cell death in both cell lines and may have the potential to be used in CRC therapy in the future. Full article
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19 pages, 36219 KiB  
Article
Camptothecin Effectively Regulates Germline Differentiation through Bam–Cyclin A Axis in Drosophila melanogaster
by Jing Zhang, Shijie Zhang, Zhipeng Sun, Yu Cai, Guohua Zhong and Xin Yi
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(2), 1617; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24021617 - 13 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1449
Abstract
Camptothecin (CPT), first isolated from Chinese tree Camptotheca acuminate, produces rapid and prolonged inhibition of DNA synthesis and induction of DNA damage by targeting topoisomerase I (top1), which is highly activated in cancer cells. CPT thus exhibits remarkable anticancer activities in various [...] Read more.
Camptothecin (CPT), first isolated from Chinese tree Camptotheca acuminate, produces rapid and prolonged inhibition of DNA synthesis and induction of DNA damage by targeting topoisomerase I (top1), which is highly activated in cancer cells. CPT thus exhibits remarkable anticancer activities in various cancer types, and is a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of cancers. However, it remains to be uncovered underlying its cytotoxicity toward germ cells. In this study we found that CPT, a cell cycle-specific anticancer agent, reduced fecundity and exhibited significant cytotoxicity toward GSCs and two-cell cysts. We showed that CPT induced GSC loss and retarded two-cell cysts differentiation in a niche- or apoptosis-independent manner. Instead, CPT induced ectopic expression of a differentiation factor, bag of marbles (Bam), and regulated the expression of cyclin A, which contributed to GSC loss. In addition, CPT compromised two-cell cysts differentiation by decreasing the expression of Bam and inducing cell arrest at G1/S phase via cyclin A, eventually resulting in two-cell accumulation. Collectively, this study demonstrates, for the first time in vivo, that the Bam–cyclin A axis is involved in CPT-mediated germline stem cell loss and two-cell cysts differentiation defects via inducing cell cycle arrest, which could provide information underlying toxicological effects of CPT in the productive system, and feature its potential to develop as a pharmacology-based germline stem cell regulation agent. Full article
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24 pages, 6135 KiB  
Article
Libertellenone T, a Novel Compound Isolated from Endolichenic Fungus, Induces G2/M Phase Arrest, Apoptosis, and Autophagy by Activating the ROS/JNK Pathway in Colorectal Cancer Cells
by Chathurika D. B. Gamage, Jeong-Hyeon Kim, Yi Yang, İsa Taş, So-Yeon Park, Rui Zhou, Sultan Pulat, Mücahit Varlı, Jae-Seoun Hur, Sang-Jip Nam and Hangun Kim
Cancers 2023, 15(2), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15020489 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2450
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most deadly type of cancer in the world and continuous investigations are required to discover novel therapeutics for CRC. Induction of apoptosis is one of the promising strategies to inhibit cancers. Here, we have identified a novel [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most deadly type of cancer in the world and continuous investigations are required to discover novel therapeutics for CRC. Induction of apoptosis is one of the promising strategies to inhibit cancers. Here, we have identified a novel compound, Libertellenone T (B), isolated from crude extracts of the endolichenic fungus from Pseudoplectania sp. (EL000327) and investigated the mechanism of action. CRC cells treated by B were subjected to apoptosis detection assays, immunofluorescence imaging, and molecular analyses such as immunoblotting and QRT-PCR. Our findings revealed that B induced CRC cell death via multiple mechanisms including G2/M phase arrest caused by microtubule stabilization and caspase-dependent apoptosis. Further studies revealed that B induced the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) attributed to activating the JNK signaling pathway by which apoptosis and autophagy was induced in Caco2 cells. Moreover, B exhibited good synergistic effects when combined with the well-known anticancer drug, 5-FU, and another cytotoxic novel compound D, which was isolated from the same crude extract of EL000327. Overall, Libertellenone T induces G2/M phase arrest, apoptosis, and autophagy via activating the ROS/JNK pathway in CRC. Thus, B may be a potential anticancer therapeutic against CRC that is suitable for clinical applications. Full article
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17 pages, 10914 KiB  
Article
Trichosanthin Promotes Anti-Tumor Immunity through Mediating Chemokines and Granzyme B Secretion in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
by Kaifang Wang, Xiaona Wang, Minghuan Zhang, Zhenguang Ying, Zeyao Zhu, Kin Yip Tam, Chunman Li, Guowei Zhou, Feng Gao, Meiqi Zeng, Stephen Cho Wing Sze, Xia Wang and Ou Sha
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(2), 1416; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24021416 - 11 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2142
Abstract
Trichosanthin (TCS) is a type I ribosome-inactivating protein extracted from the tuberous root of the plant Trichosanthes. TCS shows promising potential in clinical drug abortion, anti-tumor and immunological regulation. However, the molecular mechanisms of its anti-tumor and immune regulation properties are still [...] Read more.
Trichosanthin (TCS) is a type I ribosome-inactivating protein extracted from the tuberous root of the plant Trichosanthes. TCS shows promising potential in clinical drug abortion, anti-tumor and immunological regulation. However, the molecular mechanisms of its anti-tumor and immune regulation properties are still not well discovered. In the present study, we investigated the anti-tumor activity of TCS in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), both in vitro and in vivo. Both HCC cell lines and xenograft tumor tissues showed considerable growth inhibition after they were treated with TCS. TCS provoked caspase-mediated apoptosis in HCC cells and xenograft tumor tissues. The recruitment of CD8+ T cells to HCC tissues and the expression of chemokines, CCL2 and CCL22, were promoted upon TCS treatment. In addition, TCS induced an upregulation of Granzyme B (GrzB), TNF-α and IFN-γ in HCC tissues, which are the major cytotoxic mediators produced by T cells. Furthermore, TCS also resulted in an increase of mannose-6-phosphate receptor (M6PR), the major receptor of GrzB, in HCC tissues. In summary, these results suggest that TCS perhaps increases T-cell immunity via promoting the secretion of chemokines and accelerating the entry of GrzB to HCC cells, which highlights the potential role of TCS in anti-tumor immunotherapy. Full article
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12 pages, 1414 KiB  
Article
Synthesis and Anti-Proliferative Evaluation of Arctigenin Analogues with C-9′ Derivatisation
by Emily K. Paulin, Euphemia Leung, Lisa I. Pilkington and David Barker
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(2), 1167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24021167 - 06 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1276
Abstract
Dibenzylbutyrolactone lignans (DBLs) are a class of natural products with a wide variety of biological activities. Due to their potential for the development of human therapeutic agents, DBLs have been subjected to various SAR studies in order to optimise activity. Previous reports have [...] Read more.
Dibenzylbutyrolactone lignans (DBLs) are a class of natural products with a wide variety of biological activities. Due to their potential for the development of human therapeutic agents, DBLs have been subjected to various SAR studies in order to optimise activity. Previous reports have mainly considered changes on the aromatic rings and at the benzylic carbons of the compounds, whilst the effects of substituents in the lactone, at the C-9′ position, have been relatively unexplored. This position has an unexploited potential for the development of novel dibenzyl butyrolactone derivatives, with previous preliminary findings revealing C-9′-hydroxymethyl analogues inducing programmed cell cycle death. Using the core structure of the bioactive natural product arctigenin, C-9′ derivatives were synthesised using various synthetic pathways and with prepared derivatives providing more potent anti-proliferative activity than the C-9′-hydroxymethyl lead compound. Full article
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32 pages, 4459 KiB  
Article
New Affordable Methods for Large-Scale Isolation of Major Olive Secoiridoids and Systematic Comparative Study of Their Antiproliferative/Cytotoxic Effect on Multiple Cancer Cell Lines of Different Cancer Origins
by Aikaterini Papakonstantinou, Petrina Koumarianou, Aimilia Rigakou, Panagiotis Diamantakos, Efseveia Frakolaki, Niki Vassilaki, Evangelia Chavdoula, Eleni Melliou, Prokopios Magiatis and Haralabia Boleti
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24010003 - 20 Dec 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2008
Abstract
Olive oil phenols (OOPs) are associated with the prevention of many human cancers. Some of these have been shown to inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis. However, no systematic comparative study exists for all the investigated compounds under the same conditions, due to [...] Read more.
Olive oil phenols (OOPs) are associated with the prevention of many human cancers. Some of these have been shown to inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis. However, no systematic comparative study exists for all the investigated compounds under the same conditions, due to difficulties in their isolation or synthesis. Herein are presented innovative methods for large-scale selective extraction of six major secoiridoids from olive oil or leaves enabling their detailed investigation. The cytotoxic/antiproliferative bioactivity of these six compounds was evaluated on sixteen human cancer cell lines originating from eight different tissues. Cell viability with half-maximal effective concentrations (EC50) was evaluated after 72 h treatments. Antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effects were also assessed for the most bioactive compounds (EC50 ≤ 50 μM). Oleocanthal (1) showed the strongest antiproliferative/cytotoxic activity in most cancer cell lines (EC50: 9–20 μM). The relative effectiveness of the six OOPs was: oleocanthal (1) > oleuropein aglycone (3a,b) > ligstroside aglycone (4a,b) > oleacein (2) > oleomissional (6a,b,c) > oleocanthalic acid (7). This is the first detailed study comparing the bioactivity of six OOPs in such a wide array of cancer cell lines, providing a reference for their relative antiproliferative/cytotoxic effect in the investigated cancers. Full article
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15 pages, 2876 KiB  
Article
Therapeutic Potential of Deflamin against Colorectal Cancer Development and Progression
by Sara Silva, Ana Cavaco, Bianca Basso, Joana Mota, Raquel Cruz-Duarte, Miguel Costa, Lara Carvalho, Ana Lima, Luis Costa, Ricardo Ferreira and Marta Martins
Cancers 2022, 14(24), 6182; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14246182 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1654
Abstract
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are proteolytic enzymes that play a crucial role in tumor microenvironment remodeling, contributing to inflammatory and angiogenic processes, and ultimately promoting tumor maintenance and progression. Several studies on bioactive polypeptides isolated from legumes have shown anti-migratory, anti-MMPs, and anti-tumor effects, [...] Read more.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are proteolytic enzymes that play a crucial role in tumor microenvironment remodeling, contributing to inflammatory and angiogenic processes, and ultimately promoting tumor maintenance and progression. Several studies on bioactive polypeptides isolated from legumes have shown anti-migratory, anti-MMPs, and anti-tumor effects, potentially constituting novel strategies for both the prevention and progression of cancer. In this work, we investigated the anti-tumor role of deflamin, a protein oligomer isolated from white lupine seeds (Lupinus albus) reported to inhibit MMP-9 and cell migration in colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines. We found that deflamin exerts an inhibitory effect on tumor growth and metastasis formation, contributing to increased tumor apoptosis in the xenotransplanted zebrafish larvae model. Furthermore, deflamin resulted not only in a significant reduction in MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity but also in impaired cancer cell migration and invasion in vitro. Using the xenograft zebrafish model, we observed that deflamin inhibits collagen degradation and angiogenesis in the tumor microenvironment in vivo. Overall, our work reveals the potential of deflamin as an agent against CRC development and progression. Full article
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13 pages, 5803 KiB  
Article
Anticancer Activity of Mannose-Specific Lectin, BPL2, from Marine Green Alga Bryopsis plumosa
by Jei Ha Lee, Set Byul Lee, Heabin Kim, Jae Min Shin, Moongeun Yoon, Hye Suck An and Jong Won Han
Mar. Drugs 2022, 20(12), 776; https://doi.org/10.3390/md20120776 - 13 Dec 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1930
Abstract
Lectin is a carbohydrate-binding protein that recognizes specific cells by binding to cell-surface polysaccharides. Tumor cells generally show various glycosylation patterns, making them distinguishable from non-cancerous cells. Consequently, lectin has been suggested as a good anticancer agent. Herein, the anticancer activity of Bryopsis [...] Read more.
Lectin is a carbohydrate-binding protein that recognizes specific cells by binding to cell-surface polysaccharides. Tumor cells generally show various glycosylation patterns, making them distinguishable from non-cancerous cells. Consequently, lectin has been suggested as a good anticancer agent. Herein, the anticancer activity of Bryopsis plumosa lectins (BPL1, BPL2, and BPL3) was screened and tested against lung cancer cell lines (A549, H460, and H1299). BPL2 showed high anticancer activity compared to BPL1 and BPL3. Cell viability was dependent on BPL2 concentration and incubation time. The IC50 value for lung cancer cells was 50 μg/mL after 24 h of incubation in BPL2 containing medium; however, BPL2 (50 μg/mL) showed weak toxicity in non-cancerous cells (MRC5). BPL2 affected cancer cell growth while non-cancerous cells were less affected. Further, BPL2 (20 μg/mL) inhibited cancer cell invasion and migration (rates were ˂20%). BPL2 induced the downregulation of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition-related genes (Zeb1, vimentin, and Twist). Co-treatment with BPL2 and gefitinib (10 μg/mL and 10 μM, respectively) showed a synergistic effect compared with monotherapy. BPL2 or gefitinib monotherapy resulted in approximately 90% and 70% cell viability, respectively, with concomitant treatment showing 40% cell viability. Overall, BPL2 can be considered a good candidate for development into an anticancer agent. Full article
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12 pages, 1363 KiB  
Article
Efficient Synthesis for Altering Side Chain Length on Cannabinoid Molecules and Their Effects in Chemotherapy and Chemotherapeutic Induced Neuropathic Pain
by Wesley M. Raup-Konsavage, Diana E. Sepulveda, Daniel P. Morris, Shantu Amin, Kent E. Vrana, Nicholas M. Graziane and Dhimant Desai
Biomolecules 2022, 12(12), 1869; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom12121869 - 13 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2478
Abstract
(1) Background: Recently, a number of side chain length variants for tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol have been identified in cannabis; however, the precursor to these molecules would be based upon cannabigerol (CBG). Because CBG, and its side chain variants, are rapidly converted to other [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Recently, a number of side chain length variants for tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol have been identified in cannabis; however, the precursor to these molecules would be based upon cannabigerol (CBG). Because CBG, and its side chain variants, are rapidly converted to other cannabinoids in the plant, there are typically only small amounts in plant extracts, thus prohibiting investigations related to CBG and CBG variant therapeutic effects. (2) Methods: To overcome this, we developed an efficient synthesis of corresponding resorcinol fragments using the Wittig reaction which, under acid catalyzed coupling with geraniol, produced the desired side chain variants of CBG. These compounds were then tested in an animal model of chemotherapeutic-induced neuropathic pain and to reduce colorectal cancer cell viability. (3) Results: We found that all side-chain variants were similarly capable of reducing neuropathic pain in mice at a dose of 10 mg/kg. However, the molecules with shorter side chains (i.e., CBGV and CBGB) were better at reducing colorectal cancer cell viability. (4) Conclusions: The novel synthesis method developed here will be of utility for studying other side chain derivatives of minor cannabinoids such as cannabichromene, cannabinol, and cannabielsoin. Full article
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0 pages, 4925 KiB  
Article
Scabertopin Derived from Elephantopus scaber L. Mediates Necroptosis by Inducing Reactive Oxygen Species Production in Bladder Cancer In Vitro
by Yuanhui Gao, Zhenyu Nie, Hui Cao, Denggao Huang, Mei Chen, Yang Xiang, Xiaolong Yu and Shufang Zhang
Cancers 2022, 14(23), 5976; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14235976 - 02 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1405
Abstract
Bladder cancer remains one of the most common malignant tumors that threatens human health worldwide. It imposes a heavy burden on patients and society due to the high medical costs associated with its easy metastasis and recurrence. Although several treatment options for bladder [...] Read more.
Bladder cancer remains one of the most common malignant tumors that threatens human health worldwide. It imposes a heavy burden on patients and society due to the high medical costs associated with its easy metastasis and recurrence. Although several treatment options for bladder cancer are available, their clinical efficacy remains unsatisfactory. Therefore, actively exploring new drugs and their mechanisms of action for the clinical treatment of bladder cancer is very important. Scabertopin is one of the major sesquiterpene lactones found in Elephantopus scaber L. Sesquiterpene lactones are thought to have fairly strong anti-cancer efficacy. However, the anticancer effect of sesquiterpenoid scabertopin on bladder cancer and its mechanism are still unclear. The aim of this study is to evaluate the antitumor activity of scabertopin in bladder cancer and its potential molecular mechanism in vitro. Our results suggest that scabertopin can induce RIP1/RIP3-dependent necroptosis in bladder cancer cells by promoting the production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS), inhibit the expression of MMP-9 by inhibiting the FAK/PI3K/Akt signaling pathway, and ultimately inhibit the migration and invasion ability of bladder cancer cells. At the same time, we also demonstrated that the half-inhibition concentration (IC50) of scabertopin on various bladder cancer cell lines (J82, T24, RT4 and 5637) is much lower than that on human ureteral epithelial immortalized cells (SV-HUC-1). The above observations indicate that scabertopin is a potential therapeutic agent for bladder cancer that acts by inducing necroptosis and inhibiting metastasis. Full article
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18 pages, 3947 KiB  
Article
Anti-Cancer Effects of a New Herbal Medicine PSY by Inhibiting the STAT3 Signaling Pathway in Colorectal Cancer Cells and Its Phytochemical Analysis
by Sanghee Han, Hail Kim, Min Young Lee, Junhee Lee, Kwang Seok Ahn, In Jin Ha and Seok-Geun Lee
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(23), 14826; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232314826 - 27 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1717
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is an inflammation-associated common cancer worldwide. Paejang-san and Mori Cortex Radicis have been traditionally used for treating intestinal inflammatory diseases in Korea and China. In the present study, we developed a new herbal formula as an alternative to CRC treatments, [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is an inflammation-associated common cancer worldwide. Paejang-san and Mori Cortex Radicis have been traditionally used for treating intestinal inflammatory diseases in Korea and China. In the present study, we developed a new herbal formula as an alternative to CRC treatments, which is composed of two main components of Paejangsan (Patriniae Radix (Paejang in Korean) and Coix Seed (Yiyiin in Korean)), and Mori Cortex Radicis (Sangbekpi in Korean) based on the addition and subtraction theory in traditional medicine, hence the name PSY, and explored the potential therapeutic effects of the new formula PSY in human CRC cells by analyzing viability, cell cycle and apoptosis. We found that PSY ethanol extract (EtOH-Ex), but not water extract, significantly suppressed the viability of human CRC cells, and synergistically decreased the cell proliferation compared to each treatment of Patriniae Radix and Coix Seed extract (PY) or Mori Cortex Radicis extract (S), suggesting the combination of PY and S in a 10-to-3 ratio for the formula PSY. PSY EtOH-Ex in the combination ratio reduced cell viability but induced cell cycle arrest at the G2/M and sub-G1 phases as well as apoptosis in CRC cells. In addition, the experimental results of Western blotting, immunofluorescence staining and reporter assays showed that PSY also inhibited STAT3 by reducing its phosphorylation and nuclear localization, which resulted in lowering STAT3-mediated transcriptional activation. In addition, PSY regulated upstream signaling molecules of STAT3 by inactivating JAK2 and Src and increasing SHP1. Moreover, the chemical profiles of PSY from UPLC-ESI-QTOF MS/MS analysis revealed 38 phytochemicals, including seven organic acids, eight iridoids, two lignans, twelve prenylflavonoids, eight fatty acids, and one carbohydrate. Furthermore, 21 potentially bioactive compounds were highly enriched in the PSY EtOH-Ex compared to the water extract. Together, these results indicate that PSY suppresses the proliferation of CRC cells by inhibiting the STAT3 signaling pathway, suggesting PSY as a potential therapeutic agent for treating CRC and 21 EtOH-Ex-enriched phytochemicals as anti-cancer drug candidates which may act by inhibiting STAT3. Full article
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10 pages, 1257 KiB  
Article
Flavones, Flavonols, Lignans, and Caffeic Acid Derivatives from Dracocephalum moldavica and Their In Vitro Effects on Multiple Myeloma and Acute Myeloid Leukemia
by Karin Jöhrer, Mayra Galarza Pérez, Brigitte Kircher and Serhat Sezai Çiçek
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(22), 14219; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232214219 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1644
Abstract
Phenolic plant constituents are well known for their health-promoting and cancer chemopreventive properties, and products containing such constituents are therefore readily consumed. In the present work, we isolated 13 phenolic constituents of four different compound classes from the aerial parts of the Moldavian [...] Read more.
Phenolic plant constituents are well known for their health-promoting and cancer chemopreventive properties, and products containing such constituents are therefore readily consumed. In the present work, we isolated 13 phenolic constituents of four different compound classes from the aerial parts of the Moldavian dragonhead, an aromatic and medicinal plant with a high diversity on secondary metabolites. All compounds were tested for their apoptotic effect on myeloma (KMS-12-PE) and AML (Molm-13) cells, with the highest activity observed for the flavone and flavonol derivatives. While diosmetin (6) exhibited the most pronounced effects on the myeloma cell line, two polymethylated flavones, namely cirsimaritin (1) and xanthomicrol (3), were particularly active against AML cells and therefore subsequently investigated for their antiproliferative effects at lower concentrations. At a concentration of 2.5 µM, cirsimaritin (1) reduced proliferation of Molm-13 cells by 72% while xanthomicrol (3) even inhibited proliferation to the extent of 84% of control. In addition, both compounds were identified as potent FLT3 inhibitors and thus display promising lead structures for further drug development. Moreover, our results confirmed the chemopreventive properties of flavonoids in general, and in particular of polymethylated flavones, which have been intensively investigated especially over the last decade. Full article
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9 pages, 1005 KiB  
Article
New Angucycline Glycosides from a Marine-Derived Bacterium Streptomyces ardesiacus
by Cao Van Anh, Joo-Hee Kwon, Jong Soon Kang, Hwa-Sun Lee, Chang-Su Heo and Hee Jae Shin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(22), 13779; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232213779 - 09 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1431
Abstract
Chemical investigation of the ethyl acetate extract from the culture broth of the marine-derived actinobacterium Streptomyces ardesiacus 156VN-095 led to the isolation of three hitherto undescribed angucycline glycosides, including urdamycins W and X (1 and 2) and grincamycin U (9 [...] Read more.
Chemical investigation of the ethyl acetate extract from the culture broth of the marine-derived actinobacterium Streptomyces ardesiacus 156VN-095 led to the isolation of three hitherto undescribed angucycline glycosides, including urdamycins W and X (1 and 2) and grincamycin U (9), as well as their seven known congeners. The structures of the new compounds were elucidated by means of spectroscopic methods (HRESIMS, 1D and 2 D NMR) and comparison of their experimental data with literature values. Compounds 13 and 9 were evaluated for their anti-Gram-positive bacterial effect and cytotoxicity against six cancer cell lines. Compound 1 displayed significant cytotoxicity against all the tested cell lines with GI50 values of 0.019–0.104 µM. Collectively, these findings highlight the potential of angucycline glycosides as leading structures for the development of new anti-cancer drugs. Full article
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20 pages, 2834 KiB  
Review
Can Natural Products Targeting EMT Serve as the Future Anticancer Therapeutics?
by Sirajudheen Anwar, Jonaid Ahmad Malik, Sakeel Ahmed, Verma Abhishek Kameshwar, Jowaher Alanazi, Abdulwahab Alamri and Nafees Ahemad
Molecules 2022, 27(22), 7668; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27227668 - 08 Nov 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2703
Abstract
Cancer is the leading cause of death and has remained a big challenge for the scientific community. Because of the growing concerns, new therapeutic regimens are highly demanded to decrease the global burden. Despite advancements in chemotherapy, drug resistance is still a major [...] Read more.
Cancer is the leading cause of death and has remained a big challenge for the scientific community. Because of the growing concerns, new therapeutic regimens are highly demanded to decrease the global burden. Despite advancements in chemotherapy, drug resistance is still a major hurdle to successful treatment. The primary challenge should be identifying and developing appropriate therapeutics for cancer patients to improve their survival. Multiple pathways are dysregulated in cancers, including disturbance in cellular metabolism, cell cycle, apoptosis, or epigenetic alterations. Over the last two decades, natural products have been a major research interest due to their therapeutic potential in various ailments. Natural compounds seem to be an alternative option for cancer management. Natural substances derived from plants and marine sources have been shown to have anti-cancer activity in preclinical settings. They might be proved as a sword to kill cancerous cells. The present review attempted to consolidate the available information on natural compounds derived from plants and marine sources and their anti-cancer potential underlying EMT mechanisms. Full article
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17 pages, 1493 KiB  
Article
FOXO1 Is a Key Mediator of Glucocorticoid-Induced Expression of Tristetraprolin in MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells
by Do Yong Jeon, So Yeon Jeong, Ju Won Lee, Jeonghwan Kim, Jee Hyun Kim, Hun Su Chu, Won Jin Jeong, Byung Ju Lee, Byungyong Ahn, Junil Kim, Seong Hee Choi and Jeong Woo Park
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(22), 13673; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232213673 - 08 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1651
Abstract
The mRNA destabilizing factor tristetraprolin (TTP) functions as a tumor suppressor by down-regulating cancer-associated genes. TTP expression is significantly reduced in various cancers, which contributes to cancer processes. Enforced expression of TTP impairs tumorigenesis and abolishes maintenance of the malignant state, emphasizing the [...] Read more.
The mRNA destabilizing factor tristetraprolin (TTP) functions as a tumor suppressor by down-regulating cancer-associated genes. TTP expression is significantly reduced in various cancers, which contributes to cancer processes. Enforced expression of TTP impairs tumorigenesis and abolishes maintenance of the malignant state, emphasizing the need to identify a TTP inducer in cancer cells. To search for novel candidate agents for inducing TTP in cancer cells, we screened a library containing 1019 natural compounds using MCF-7 breast cancer cells transfected with a reporter vector containing the TTP promoter upstream of the luciferase gene. We identified one molecule, of which the enantiomers are betamethasone 21-phosphate (BTM-21-P) and dexamethasone 21-phosphate (BTM-21-P), as a potent inducer of TTP in cancer cells. We confirmed that BTM-21-P, DXM-21-P, and dexamethasone (DXM) induced the expression of TTP in MDA-MB-231 cells in a glucocorticoid receptor (GR)-dependent manner. To identify potential pathways linking BTM-21-P and DXM-21-P to TTP induction, we performed an RNA sequencing-based transcriptome analysis of MDA-MB-231 cells at 3 h after treatment with these compounds. A heat map analysis of FPKM expression showed a similar expression pattern between cells treated with the two compounds. The KEGG pathway analysis results revealed that the upregulated DEGs were strongly associated with several pathways, including the Hippo signaling pathway, PI3K-Akt signaling pathway, FOXO signaling pathway, NF-κB signaling pathway, and p53 signaling pathway. Inhibition of the FOXO pathway using a FOXO1 inhibitor blocked the effects of BTM-21-P and DXM-21-P on the induction of TTP in MDA-MB-231 cells. We found that DXM enhanced the binding of FOXO1 to the TTP promoter in a GR-dependent manner. In conclusion, we identified a natural compound of which the enantiomers are DXM-21-P and BTM-21-P as a potent inducer of TTP in breast cancer cells. We also present new insights into the role of FOXO1 in the DXM-21-P- and BTM-21-P-induced expression of TTP in cancer cells. Full article
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11 pages, 3486 KiB  
Article
Ethanolic Extract of Ocimum sanctum Linn. Inhibits Cell Migration of Human Lung Adenocarcinoma Cells (A549) by Downregulation of Integrin αvβ3, α5β1, and VEGF
by Ulayatul Kustiati, Suleyman Ergün, Srikanth Karnati, Dwi Aris Agung Nugrahaningsih, Dwi Liliek Kusindarta and Hevi Wihadmadyatami
Sci. Pharm. 2022, 90(4), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/scipharm90040069 - 31 Oct 2022
Viewed by 2145
Abstract
Adenocarcinoma lung cancer is a type of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), which accounts for 85% of lung cancer incidence globally. The therapies that are being applied, both conventional therapies and antibody-based treatments, are still found to have side effects. Several previous studies [...] Read more.
Adenocarcinoma lung cancer is a type of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), which accounts for 85% of lung cancer incidence globally. The therapies that are being applied, both conventional therapies and antibody-based treatments, are still found to have side effects. Several previous studies have demonstrated the ability of the ethanolic extract of Ocimum sanctum Linn. (EEOS) as an ethnomedicine with anti-tumor properties. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of Ocimum sanctum Linn. ethanolic extract in inhibiting the proliferation, angiogenesis, and migration of A549 cells (NSCLC). The adhesion as well as the migration assay was performed. Furthermore, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to measure the expression of αvβ3 integrins, α5β1 integrins, and VEGF. The cells were divided into the following treatment groups: control (non-treated/NT), positive control (AP3/inhibitor β3 80 µg/mL), cisplatin (9 µg/mL), and EEOS at concentrations of 50, 70, 100, and 200 µg/mL. The results showed that EEOS inhibits the adhesion ability and migration of A549 cells, with an optimal concentration of 200 µg/mL. ELISA testing showed that the group of A549 cells given EEOS 200 µg/mL presented a decrease in the optimal expression of integrin α5β1, integrin αvβ3, and VEGF. Full article
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16 pages, 4739 KiB  
Article
Combination Therapy of Curcumin and Disulfiram Synergistically Inhibits the Growth of B16-F10 Melanoma Cells by Inducing Oxidative Stress
by Sheila S. Fontes, Mateus L. Nogueira, Rosane B. Dias, Clarissa A. Gurgel Rocha, Milena B. P. Soares, Marcos A. Vannier-Santos and Daniel P. Bezerra
Biomolecules 2022, 12(11), 1600; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom12111600 - 31 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1684
Abstract
Oxidative stress plays a central role in the pathophysiology of melanoma. Curcumin (CUR) is a polyphenolic phytochemical that stimulates reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, while disulfiram (DSS) is a US FDA-approved drug for the treatment of alcoholism that can act by inhibiting the [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress plays a central role in the pathophysiology of melanoma. Curcumin (CUR) is a polyphenolic phytochemical that stimulates reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, while disulfiram (DSS) is a US FDA-approved drug for the treatment of alcoholism that can act by inhibiting the intracellular antioxidant system. Therefore, we hypothesized that they act synergistically against melanoma cells. Herein, we aimed to study the antitumor potential of the combination of CUR with DSS in B16-F10 melanoma cells using in vitro and in vivo models. The cytotoxic effects of different combination ratios of CUR and DSS were evaluated using the Alamar Blue method, allowing the production of isobolograms. Apoptosis detection, DNA fragmentation, cell cycle distribution, and mitochondrial superoxide levels were quantified by flow cytometry. Tumor development in vivo was evaluated using C57BL/6 mice bearing B16-F10 cells. The combinations ratios of 1:2, 1:3, and 2:3 showed synergic effects. B16-F10 cells treated with these combinations showed improved apoptotic cell death and DNA fragmentation. Enhanced mitochondrial superoxide levels were observed at combination ratios of 1:2 and 1:3, indicating increased oxidative stress. In vivo tumor growth inhibition for CUR (20 mg/kg), DSS (60 mg/kg), and their combination were 17.0%, 19.8%, and 28.8%, respectively. This study provided data on the potential cytotoxic activity of the combination of CUR with DSS and may provide a useful tool for the development of a therapeutic combination against melanoma. Full article
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15 pages, 3183 KiB  
Article
Lactucin, a Bitter Sesquiterpene from Cichorium intybus, Inhibits Cancer Cell Proliferation by Downregulating the MAPK and Central Carbon Metabolism Pathway
by Khandaker Md Sharif Uddin Imam, Yu Tian, Fengjiao Xin, Yingying Xie and Boting Wen
Molecules 2022, 27(21), 7358; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27217358 - 29 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2300
Abstract
Lung cancer, especially adenocarcinoma, is the second most occurring and highest fatality-causing cancer worldwide. Many natural anticancer compounds, such as sesquiterpene lactones (SLs), show promising anticancer properties. Herein, we examined Lactucin, an SL from the plant Cichorium intybus, for its cytotoxicity, apoptotic-inducing, [...] Read more.
Lung cancer, especially adenocarcinoma, is the second most occurring and highest fatality-causing cancer worldwide. Many natural anticancer compounds, such as sesquiterpene lactones (SLs), show promising anticancer properties. Herein, we examined Lactucin, an SL from the plant Cichorium intybus, for its cytotoxicity, apoptotic-inducing, cell cycle inhibiting capacity, and associated protein expression. We also constructed a biotinylated Lactucin probe to isolate interacting proteins and identified them. We found that Lactucin stops the proliferation of A549 and H2347 lung adenocarcinoma cell lines while not affecting normal lung cell MRC5. It also significantly inhibits the cell cycle at G0/G1 stage and induces apoptosis. The western blot analysis shows that Lactucin downregulates the MAPK pathway, cyclin, and cyclin-dependent kinases, inhibiting DNA repair while upregulating p53, p21, Bax, PTEN, and downregulation of Bcl-2. An increased p53 in response to DNA damage upregulates p21, Bax, and PTEN. In an activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) analysis of A549 cell’s protein lysate using a biotinylated Lactucin probe, we found that Lactucin binds PGM, PKM, and LDHA PDH, four critical enzymes in central carbon metabolism in cancer cells, limiting cancer cells in its growth; thus, Lactucin inhibits cancer cell proliferation by downregulating the MAPK and the Central Carbon Metabolism pathway. Full article
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9 pages, 1947 KiB  
Article
Ent-Abietane Diterpenoids from Euphorbia fischeriana and Their Cytotoxic Activities
by Qin-Feng Zhu, Guo-Bo Xu, Shang-Gao Liao and Xue-Long Yan
Molecules 2022, 27(21), 7258; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27217258 - 26 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1350
Abstract
The roots of Euphorbia fischeriana have been used as a traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of tuberculosis and ringworm. In the current study, diterpenoids from the ethyl acetate extract of the roots E. fischeriana and their cytotoxic effects against five cancer lines [...] Read more.
The roots of Euphorbia fischeriana have been used as a traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of tuberculosis and ringworm. In the current study, diterpenoids from the ethyl acetate extract of the roots E. fischeriana and their cytotoxic effects against five cancer lines were investigated. Two new ent-abietane diterpenoids, euphonoids H and I (12), as well as their two analogues (34) were first isolated from this source. The structures of the two new compounds were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic data and quantum chemical calculation. Their absolute configurations were assigned via ECD spectrum calculation. The isolated compounds were evaluated for their antiproliferative activities against five cancer cell lines. Compounds 1 and 2 exhibited significant inhibitory effects against human prostate cancers C4-2B and C4-2B/ENZR cell lines with IC50 values ranging from 4.16 ± 0.42 to 5.74 ± 0.45 μM. Full article
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25 pages, 15904 KiB  
Article
Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Neocryptolepine Derivatives as Potential Anti-Gastric Cancer Agents
by Yunhao Ma, Yanan Tian, Zhongkun Zhou, Shude Chen, Kangjia Du, Hao Zhang, Xinrong Jiang, Juan Lu, Yuqing Niu, Lixue Tu, Jie Wang, Huanxiang Liu, Hongmei Zhu, Peng Chen and Yingqian Liu
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(19), 11924; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms231911924 - 07 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1775
Abstract
Natural products play an important role in drug development and lead compound synthesis. Neocryptolepine is a polycyclic quinoline compound isolated from Cryptolepis sanguinolent. The cytotoxicity of neocryptolepine to gastric cancer cells AGS, MKN45, HGC27, and SGC7901 was not very strong, and it [...] Read more.
Natural products play an important role in drug development and lead compound synthesis. Neocryptolepine is a polycyclic quinoline compound isolated from Cryptolepis sanguinolent. The cytotoxicity of neocryptolepine to gastric cancer cells AGS, MKN45, HGC27, and SGC7901 was not very strong, and it also had certain toxicity to gastric mucosa cells GES-1. Therefore, a series of neocryptolepine derivatives were synthesized by the modification of the structure of neocryptolepine, and their cytotoxicity was evaluated. The results showed that compounds C5 and C8 exhibited strong cytotoxicity to AGS cells. The cell colony formation and cell migration experiments suggested that compounds C5 and C8 could inhibit the proliferation and cell migration of AGS and HGC27 cells. Cell cycle and apoptosis experiments showed that compounds C5 and C8 did not cause the apoptosis of AGS and HGC27 cells but, mainly, caused cell necrosis. Compound C5 had no significant effect on AGS and HGC27 cell cycles at low concentration. After treatment with AGS cells for 24 h at high concentration, compound C5 could significantly arrest the AGS cell cycle in the G2/M phase. Compound C8 had no significant effect on the AGS and HGC27 cell cycles. The results of molecular docking and Western blot showed that compounds C5 and C8 might induce cytotoxicity through the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. Therefore, compounds C5 and C8 may be promising lead compounds for the treatment of gastric cancer. Full article
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20 pages, 1622 KiB  
Article
Fermented Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana L.) Supplementation in the Prevention of HPV-Induced Cervical Cancer: From Mechanisms to Clinical Outcomes
by Zaira Kharaeva, Pavel Trakhtman, Ilya Trakhtman, Chiara De Luca, Wolfgang Mayer, Jessie Chung, Galina Ibragimova and Liudmila Korkina
Cancers 2022, 14(19), 4707; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14194707 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2068
Abstract
In the observational clinical study, we identified the oxidative markers of HPV-associated cervical carcinogenesis and the local/circulating ligands of TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis. Cervical biopsies of 196 females infected with low-cancer-risk HPV10/13 or high-cancer-risk HPV16/18 (healthy, pre-cancerous CIN I and CIN II, and CIN III [...] Read more.
In the observational clinical study, we identified the oxidative markers of HPV-associated cervical carcinogenesis and the local/circulating ligands of TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis. Cervical biopsies of 196 females infected with low-cancer-risk HPV10/13 or high-cancer-risk HPV16/18 (healthy, pre-cancerous CIN I and CIN II, and CIN III carcinoma) were analysed for OH radical scavenging, catalase, GSH-peroxidase, myeloperoxidase (MPO), nitrate/nitrite, nitrotyrosine, and isoprostane. Ligands of TNF-alpha-dependent apoptosis (TNF-alpha, TRAIL, IL-2, and sFAS) were determined in cervical fluid, biopsies, and serum. Cervical MPO was highly enhanced, while nitrotyrosine decreased in CIN III. Local/circulating TRAIL was remarkably decreased, and higher-than-control serum TNF-alpha and IL-2 levels were found in the CIN I and CIN III groups. Then, 250 females infected with HPV16/18 (healthy and with CIN I and CIN II) were recruited into a placebo-controlled clinical study of supplementation with fermented mangosteen (FM, 28g/day, daily) for three months. Post-trial colposcopy revealed normal patterns in 100% of the FM group versus 62% of the placebo group. Inflammatory cells in cervical fluid were found in 21% of the FM group versus 40% of the placebo group. Locally, FM drastically diminished MPO and NO2/NO3, while it remarkably increased TRAIL. Additionally, FM supplementation normalised serum TRAIL, TNF-alpha, and IL-2. Full article
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27 pages, 4787 KiB  
Review
Molecular Mechanism of Tanshinone against Prostate Cancer
by Wei Li, Tao Huang, Shenghan Xu, Bangwei Che, Ying Yu, Wenjun Zhang and Kaifa Tang
Molecules 2022, 27(17), 5594; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27175594 - 30 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2602
Abstract
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most common malignant tumor of the male urinary system in Europe and America. According to the data in the World Cancer Report 2020, the incidence rate of PCa ranks second in the prevalence of male malignant tumors and [...] Read more.
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most common malignant tumor of the male urinary system in Europe and America. According to the data in the World Cancer Report 2020, the incidence rate of PCa ranks second in the prevalence of male malignant tumors and varies worldwide between regions and population groups. Although early PCa can achieve good therapeutic results after surgical treatment, due to advanced PCa, it can adapt and tolerate androgen castration-related drugs through a variety of mechanisms. For this reason, it is often difficult to achieve effective therapeutic results in the treatment of advanced PCa. Tanshinone is a new fat-soluble phenanthraquinone compound derived from Salvia miltiorrhiza that can play a therapeutic role in different cancers, including PCa. Several studies have shown that Tanshinone can target various molecular pathways of PCa, including the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) pathway, androgen receptor (AR) pathway, phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, which will affect the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and affect cell proliferation, apoptosis, tumor metabolism, genomic stability, and tumor drug resistance. Thus, the occurrence and development of PCa cells are inhibited. In this review, we summarized the in vivo and in vitro evidence of Tanshinone against prostate cancer and discussed the effect of Tanshinone on nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB), AR, and mTOR. At the same time, we conducted a network pharmacology analysis on the four main components of Tanshinone to further screen the possible targets of Tanshinone against prostate cancer and provide ideas for future research. Full article
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