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Curr Drug Metab. 2019 Nov 17. doi: 10.2174/1389200220666191118102616. [Epub ahead of print]

Novel Phytochemical Constituents and Anticancer Activities of the genus, Typhonium.

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Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UCSI University, Cheras 56000, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Faculty of Agro-Based Industry, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, Jeli 17600, Kelantan, Malaysia
Institute of Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture (IFSSA), Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, Jeli 17600, Kelantan, Malaysia
Department of Chemical Pathology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian 16150, Kelantan, Malaysia
School of Food Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Kuala Terengganu 21030, Malaysia
Exercise and Metabolism Research Center, College of Physical Education and Health Sciences, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua City 321004, Zhejiang, China



Typhonium is the largest genus in Araceae family (~70 species), distributed in South Asia, Southeast Asia and Australia. Typhonium is well-known for its ethnopharmacological uses, and Southeast Asians considered as an alternative medicine to treat cancer. This review elucidated the confirmed chemical structures of the isolated compounds of Typhonium, and emphasized their anticancer activities against various human cancer cells.


Among several species, Typhonium blumei, T. flagelliforme, T. divaricatum and T. giganteum were extensively studied due to the presence of a class of secondary metabolites. All available reports on Typhonium were included and discussed in this article.


Until now several groups of compounds, named amino acids (1,2), cinnamic acid (3), fatty acids (4-14), glycerol derivatives (15-18) and cerebrosides (19-34), flavonoids (35), hydantoins (36-38), lignin monomers (39-44), nucleobases (45-48), pheophorbides (49-52), phthalate (53), terpene and steroids (54-59) and vitamins (60,61) were isolated and characterized from Typhonium. These phytochemicals were investigated for their anticancer properties, and results confirmed the promising growth inhibitory effect and anticancer activities against human lung, breast, prostate and colon cancer cells. The anticancer activity of these compounds appears to be mediated through induction of apoptotic-cell death. The phytochemicals further reported to exhibit other pharmacological efficacies, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, anti-allergic, neuroprotective and hepato-protective properties.


This is the first review to summarize the anticancer properties of all isolated compounds of Typhonium genus with confirmed chemical structures. Further advanced studies are necessary to establish the detailed signaling pathways that are involved in anticancer property of the compounds.


Alternative medicine; Anticancer herbs; Apoptosis.; Malignancy; Secondary metabolites; Typhonium

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