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J Cell Biochem. 2018 Dec;119(12):9655-9663. doi: 10.1002/jcb.27392. Epub 2018 Aug 20.

Berberine: A potential adjunct for the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers?

Author information

1
Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Medicine, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.
2
Medical and Surgical Sciences Department, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
3
Neurogenic Inflammation Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
4
Department of Medical Biotechnology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
5
Faculty of Medicine, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.
6
Department of Genetics, School of Medicine, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran.
7
Biotechnology Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
8
School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

Abstract

Gastrointestinal cancers are among the most prevalent cancers in the general population. Despite effective early diagnostics and intervention, the gastrointestinal cancer-related mortality still remains elevated. Berberine (BBR) is a benzyl tetra isoquinoline alkaloid exracted from several plants. BBR is nontoxic to human normal cells, but suppresses the growth of different tumor cells: melanoma, epidermoid carcinoma, hepatoma, oral carcinoma, glioblastoma, prostatic carcinoma, and gastric carcinoma. In particular, BBR seems to suppress the proliferation of gastrointestinal cancers in a number of preclinical models. Several mechanisms of action have been hypothesized and demonstrated: immunomodulation, inhibition of topoisomerase enzymes, suppression of the EGF receptor, Her2/neu, and the VEGF receptor, induction of p53, Cip1/p21, Kip1/p27, Rb expression, induction of apoptosis (by regulation of MMPs pathway, caspases, Bax, and Smac/DIABLO), inhibition of arylamin N-acetyltransferase activity, and regulation of microRNAs expression. The aim of this review is to summarize the pharmacological effects of BBR on animal and human gastrointestinal cancers.

KEYWORDS:

apoptosis; berberine; cancer; gastrointestinal tract

PMID:
30125974
DOI:
10.1002/jcb.27392

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