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Oncol Lett. 2019 Jun;17(6):4761-4767. doi: 10.3892/ol.2019.10171. Epub 2019 Mar 19.

Anticancer effect of ursolic acid via mitochondria-dependent pathways.

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Clinical Medical Research Center of The Affiliated Hospital, Inner Mongolia Medical University, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia 010050, P.R. China.


Ursolic acid is a plant-derived pentacyclic triterpenoid found in various medicinal herbs and fruits. It has generated clinical interest due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiapoptotic and anticarcinogenic effects. An increasing amount of evidence supports the anticancer effect of ursolic acid in various cancer cells. One of the hallmarks of malignant transformation is metabolic reprogramming that sustains macromolecule synthesis, bioenergetic demand and tumor cell survival. Mitochondria are important regulators of tumorigenes is as well as a major site of the metabolic reactions that facilitate this reprogramming and adaption to cellular and environmental changes. The current review explored the close association between the anticancer effect of ursolic acid and the activation of mitochondrial-dependent signaling pathways.


cancer; mitochondrial; review; ursolic acid

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