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Oncol Rep. 2006 Dec;16(6):1273-6.

Berberine, a natural cholesterol reducing product, exerts antitumor cytostatic/cytotoxic effects independently from the mevalonate pathway.

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Department of Immunology, Center of Biostructure Research, The Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.


The aim of this study was to investigate the role of the mevalonate pathway in the cytostatic/cytotoxic effects of berberine, a natural plant alkaloid that reduces cholesterol concentration. Berberine as well as lovastatin, an inhibitor of the mevalonate pathway, exerted dose-dependent cytostatic/cytotoxic effects against human breast cancer cells (MDA-MB231). Although the mevalonate pathway metabolites (mevalonic acid, farnesyl pyrophosphate, geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate) effectively reversed cytostatic/cytotoxic effects of lovastatin against MDA-MB231 cells, they were not effective in influencing the cytostatic/cytotoxic effects of berberine. The cytostatic/cytotoxic effects of berberine do not seem to result from inhibition of the mevalonate pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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