Worldwide, cancer has created havoc and has posed a substantial burden on patients and the healthcare system. To combat cancer, numerous treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy are used. However, these current chemotherapeutics are linked with unpleasant side effects and drug resistance.
It is essential to identify alternative cancer treatments with fewer detrimental effects and low toxicity. Quest for safer medicine is the foremost priority and to pursue the same, many new endeavors have been exploited.
The anticancer activity of medicinal plants has been acknowledged for centuries. Flavonoids are one of the most vital groups of plant secondary metabolites with potent anti-cancer effects. Anticancer Flavonoids, the naturally occurring tricyclic polyphenolic compounds, are ubiquitously present in numerous vegetables, fruits, and medicinal plants.
A number of flavonoids have been found to possess cancer-fighting properties. One such anticancer flavonoid is wogonin that has been shown to exhibit diverse therapeutic activities. In traditional Chinese medicine, the wogonin-containing herb Scutellaria baicalensis has been utilized for curing a wide array of ailments. Wogonin has also demonstrated potent anti-cancer effects in a variety of malignancies and yields a novel avenue for the therapeutic strategy in the management of cancer.
Let us explore how wogonin may help you to fight cancer:
- What is wogonin?
- Sources of wogonin
- Health benefits of wogonin
- Anticancer activity of wogonin
- Limitation of wogonin as an anticancer agent
- Future perspective on wogonin
What is wogonin?
Wogonin (5,7-dihydroxy-8-methoxyflavone) is a naturally occurring flavonoid in plants, initially isolated from Scutellariae radix.
Sources of wogonin
The biologically active compound wogonin is extracted from the roots of:
- Scutellaria baicalensis (Baikal skullcap)
- Scutellaria amoena (Tall skullcap)
- Scutellaria rivularis (Barbed skullcap)
It is also extracted from the stem of Anodendron affine Druce.
Health benefits of wogonin
Wogonin displays a remarkable spectrum of therapeutic activities such as anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-hepatitis, anti-allergic, anticonvulsant, anti-tumor, and neuroprotective. It helps to alleviate anxiety, reduces pain, minimizes the risk of heart diseases, control diabetes, and improves overall health.
Anticancer activity of wogonin
Wogonin has been found to suppress the growth of multiple tumor cells, inhibit angiogenesis, metastasis, and invasion. It also induces cell-cycle arrest, apoptosis, and modulates telomerase activity. Recent evidence illustrates that this potent anticancer flavonoid not only targets the key molecules, which play a vital role in tumor development but also enhances the treatment efficacy of conventional cancer-fighting agents.
Several studies have depicted the inhibitory effects of the flavonoid wogonin on numerous cancer cells.
In a study, the flavonoid wogonin was found to significantly hamper cell viability and stimulate apoptosis in the human lung adenocarcinoma epithelial cell line A549. As per the study, this flavonoid has the ability to affect different biochemical pathways, thus explaining its effect against different tumors.
Another study depicted wogonin as an active therapeutic candidate for the therapeutic strategy in colorectal cancer treatment. In this study, wogonin was found to effectively induce apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells HCT-116. It also prevented colorectal cancer tumorigenesis by regulating (p53 tumor suppressor protein) nuclear translocation.
Another study revealed that the plant monoflavonoid wogonin has a significant potential to manage ovarian cancer. Wogonin depicted antitumor effects against ovarian cancer cells. In ovarian cancer cells, it dramatically decreased invasiveness, migration, and cell proliferation, and induced apoptosis and cell-cycle arrest.
Another study enumerated the potential of wogonin against human breast cancer cells MCF-7. Wogonin was found to induce G1 phase arrest of MCF-7 cells, and also inhibited the proliferation of MCF-7 in a concentration and time-dependent manner. In a recent review by Gharari et al. published in “Journal of Nutritional Medicine and Diet Care”, the anticancer effect of the flavonoid wogonin in different cancers was also enumerated.
Limitation of wogonin as an anticancer agent
The major limitation of this anticancer flavonoid use as an anticancer agent is its low water solubility and less effect in certain types of tumors. Thus, it is essential to produce novel wogonin analogs with similar or improved anti-tumor property and minimal adverse effects. For these reasons, a few wogonin derivatives with impressive anti-tumor activity have also been developed.
Future perspective on wogonin
Wogonin has been approved for Phase I clinical trials based on the both in vitro and in vivo explorations. This is indeed a milestone for its robust therapeutic use in the future.
In the past few years, research on wogonin has improved dramatically. Due to its broad toxicities to various types of tumor cell lines, low toxicities to normal tissues, and its synergistic effects with 5-fluorouracil, etoposide, and adriamycin to enhance chemotherapy and reverse drug resistance, wogonin is indeed a good anticancer candidate.
With the rising rate of cancer in the world, novel strategies are being investigated to improve the therapeutic activity, selectivity, and bioavailability of wogonin. Thus, wogonin could be a viable remedy to help lower your risk of developing tumors.
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