Main content area

Targeting Tumor Metabolism with Plant-Derived Natural Products: Emerging Trends in Cancer Therapy

Guerra, Angela R., Duarte, Maria F., Duarte, Iola F.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2018 v.66 no.41 pp. 10663-10685
bioactive compounds, biochemical pathways, chemical constituents of plants, humans, isoprenoids, mechanism of action, metabolism, neoplasm cells, neoplasms, therapeutics
Recognition of neoplastic metabolic reprogramming as one of cancer’s hallmarks has paved the way for developing novel metabolism-targeted therapeutic approaches. The use of plant-derived natural bioactive compounds for this endeavor is especially promising, due to their diverse structures and multiple targets. Hence, over the past decade, a growing number of studies have assessed the impact of phytochemicals on tumor cell metabolism, aiming at improving current knowledge on their mechanisms of action and, at the same time, evaluating their potential as anti-cancer metabolic modulators. In this Review, we focus on three classes of plant-derived compounds with promising anti-cancer activity—phenolic compounds, isoprenoids, and alkaloids—to describe their effects on major energetic and biosynthetic pathways of human tumor cells. Such a comprehensive and integrated account of the ability of these compounds to hit different metabolic targets is expected to contribute to the rational design and critical assessment of novel anti-cancer therapies based on natural-product-mediated metabolic reprogramming.