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Cell Prolif. 2012 Dec;45(6):499-507. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2184.2012.00849.x.

Oridonin: targeting programmed cell death pathways as an anti-tumour agent.

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Department of Hepato-biliary Surgery, General Hospital of PLA, Beijing, China.


Oridonin, an active diterpenoid isolated from traditional Chinese herbal medicine, has drawn rising attention for its remarkable apoptosis- and autophagy-inducing activity and relevant molecular mechanisms in cancer therapy. Apoptosis is a well known type of cell death, whereas autophagy can play either pro-survival or pro-death roles in cancer cells. Accumulating evidence has recently revealed relationships between apoptosis and autophagy induced by oridonin; however, molecular mechanisms behind them remain to be discovered. In this review, we focus on highlighting updated research on oridonin-induced cell death signalling pathways implicated in apoptosis and autophagy, in many types of cancer. In addition, we further discuss cross-talk between apoptosis and autophagy induced by oridonin, in cancer. Taken together, these findings open new perspectives for further exploring oridonin as a potential anti-tumour agent targeting apoptosis and autophagy, in future anti-cancer therapeutics.

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