Molecular Mechanisms of Casticin Action: an Update on its Antitumor Functions

  • Rasul, Azhar (The Key Laboratory of Molecular Epigenetics of Ministry of Education, Institute of Genetics and Cytology, Northeast Normal University) ;
  • Zhao, Bin-Ji (Second Hospital, Jilin University) ;
  • Liu, Jun (Second Hospital, Jilin University) ;
  • Liu, Bao (The Key Laboratory of Molecular Epigenetics of Ministry of Education, Institute of Genetics and Cytology, Northeast Normal University) ;
  • Sun, Jia-Xin (The Key Laboratory of Molecular Epigenetics of Ministry of Education, Institute of Genetics and Cytology, Northeast Normal University) ;
  • Li, Jiang (Dental Hospital, Jilin University) ;
  • Li, Xiao-Meng (The Key Laboratory of Molecular Epigenetics of Ministry of Education, Institute of Genetics and Cytology, Northeast Normal University)
  • Published : 2014.11.28


Casticin (3', 5-dihydroxy-3, 4', 6, 7-tetramethoxyflavone) is an active compound isolated from roots, stems, leaves, fruits and seeds of a variety of plants. It is well known for its pharmacological properties and has been utilized as an anti-hyperprolactinemia, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotetective, analgesic and immunomodulatory agent. Recently, the anticancer activity of casticin has been extensively investigated. The resulkts showed that it exerts protective potential by targeting apoptosis, considered important for cancer therapies. In this article, our aim was to review the pharmacological and therapeutic applications of casticin with specific emphasis on its anticancer functions and related molecular mechanisms. Chemotherapeutic effects are dependent on multiple molecular pathways, which may provide a new perspective of casticin as a candidate anti-neoplastic drug. This review suggests that additional studies and preclinical trials are required to determine specific intracellular sites of action and derivative targets in order to fully understand the mechanisms of its antitumor activity and validate this compound as a medicinal agent for the prevention and treatment of various cancers.


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