Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

Formononetin: A Review of Its Anticancer Potentials and Mechanisms.

Abstract Source:

Front Pharmacol. 2019 ;10:820. Epub 2019 Jul 26. PMID: 31402861

Abstract Author(s):

Kai-Ching Tay, Loh Teng-Hern Tan, Chim Kei Chan, Sok Lai Hong, Kok-Gan Chan, Wei Hsum Yap, Priyia Pusparajah, Learn-Han Lee, Bey-Hing Goh

Article Affiliation:

Kai-Ching Tay


Cancer, a complex yet common disease, is caused by uncontrolled cell division and abnormal cell growth due to a variety of gene mutations. Seeking effective treatments for cancer is a major research focus, as the incidence of cancer is on the rise and drug resistance to existing anti-cancer drugs is major concern. Natural products have the potential to yield unique molecules and combinations of substances that may be effective against cancer with relatively low toxicity/better side effect profile compared to standard anticancer therapy. Drug discovery work with natural products has demonstrated that natural compounds display a wide range of biological activities correlating to anticancer effects. In this review, we discuss formononetin (CHO), which originates mainly from red clovers and the Chinese herb. The compound comes from a class of 7-hydroisoflavones with a substitution of methoxy group at position 4. Formononetin elicits antitumorigenic propertiesandby modulating numerous signaling pathways to induce cell apoptosis (by intrinsic pathway involving Bax, Bcl-2, and caspase-3 proteins) and cell cycle arrest (by regulating mediators like cyclin A, cyclin B1, and cyclin D1), suppress cell proliferation [by signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) activation, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase-B (PI3K/AKT), and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway], and inhibit cell invasion [by regulating growth factors vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 proteins]. Co-treatment with other chemotherapy drugs such as bortezomib, LY2940002, U0126, sunitinib, epirubicin, doxorubicin, temozolomide, and metformin enhances the anticancer potential of both formononetin and the respective drugs through synergistic effect. Compiling the evidence thus far highlights the potential of formononetin to be a promising candidate for chemoprevention and chemotherapy.

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