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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2019, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (3): 155-160.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2019.03.003

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Ursolic acid: An overview on its cytotoxic activities against breast and colorectal cancer cells

Eric Wei Chiang Chana,, Chu Yong Soona, Joash Ban Lee Tanb, Siu Kuin Wongb, Yew Woh Huic   

  1. a. Faculty of Applied Sciences, UCSI University, 56000 Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    b. School of Science, Monash University Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
    c. Xiamen University Malaysia, Bandar Sunsuria, 43900 Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Received:2018-12-06 Accepted:2019-02-18 Online:2019-05-05 Published:2019-05-08

Ursolic acid (UA) is a pentacyclic triterpene of the ursane type. As a common chemical constituent among species of the family Lamiaceae, UA possesses a broad spectrum of pharmacological properties. This overview focuses on the anticancer properties of UA against breast cancer (BC) and colorectal cancer (CRC) that are most common among women and men, respectively. In vitro studies have shown that UA inhibited the growth of BC and CRC cell lines through various molecular targets and signaling pathways. There are several in vivo studies on the cytotoxic activity of UA against BC and CRC. UA also inhibits the growth of other types of cancer. Studies on structural modifications of UA have shown that the –OH groups at C3 and at C28 are critical factors influencing the cytotoxic activity of UA and its derivatives. Some needs for future research are suggested. Sources of information were from ScienceDirect, Google Scholar and PubMed.

Key words: Ursolic acid, Cytotoxic, Molecular targets, Signaling pathways

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