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Reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cancer pathogenesis and therapy: An update on the role of ROS in anticancer action of benzophenanthridine alkaloids

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submitted on 2023-10-24, 08:22 and posted on 2023-10-24, 11:00 authored by Abdul Q. Khan, Khalid Rashid, Abdulhadi A. AlAmodi, Maha Victor Agha, Sabah Akhtar, Ishrat Hakeem, Syed Shadab Raza, Shahab Uddin

Reactive oxygen species play crucial role in biological homeostasis and pathogenesis of human diseases including cancer. In this line, now it has become evident that ROS level/concentration is a major factor in the growth, progression and stemness of cancer cells. Moreover, cancer cells maintain a delicate balance between ROS and antioxidants to promote pathogenesis and clinical challenges via targeting a battery of signaling pathways converging to cancer hallmarks. Recent findings also entail the therapeutic importance of ROS for the better clinical outcomes in cancer patients as they induce apoptosis and autophagy. Moreover, poor clinical outcomes associated with cancer therapies are the major challenge and use of natural products have been vital in attenuation of these challenges due to their multitargeting potential with less adverse effects. In fact, most available drugs are derived from natural resources, either directly or indirectly and available evidence show the clinical importance of natural products in the management of various diseases, including cancer. ROS play a critical role in the anticancer actions of natural products, particularly phytochemicals. Benzophenanthridine alkaloids of the benzyl isoquinoline family of alkaloids, such as sanguinarine, possess several pharmacological properties and are thus being studied for the treatment of different human diseases, including cancer. In this article, we review recent findings, on how benzophenanthridine alkaloid-induced ROS play a critical role in the attenuation of pathological changes and stemness features associated with human cancers. In addition, we highlight the role of ROS in benzophenanthridine alkaloid-mediated activation of the signaling pathway associated with cancer cell apoptosis and autophagy.

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Published in: Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2021

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Medical Corporation
  • Academic Health System - HMC
  • Interim Translational Research Institute - HMC
  • Dermatology Institute - HMC
  • Rumailah Hospital - HMC
  • Qatar University
  • Laboratory Animal Research Center - QU

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