Advances in the study of berberine and its derivatives: a focus on anti-inflammatory and antitumor effects in the digestive system

Kun ZOU, Zhao LI, Yong ZHANG, Hao-yue ZHANG, Bo LI, Wei-liang ZHU, Ji-ye SHI, Qi JIA, Yi-ming LI
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2016.125


It has been widely recognized that inflammation, particularly chronic inflammation, can increase the risk of cancer and that the simultaneous treatment of inflammation and cancer may produce excellent therapeutic effects. Berberine, an alkaloid isolated from Rhizoma coptidis, has broad applications, particularly as an antibacterial agent in the clinic with a long history. Over the past decade, many reports have demonstrated that this natural product and its derivatives have high activity against both cancer and inflammation. In this review, we summarize the advances in studing berberine and its derivatives as anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor agents in the digestive system; we also discuss their structure-activity relationship. These data should be useful for the development of this natural product as novel anticancer drugs with anti-inflammation activity.
Keywords: berberine; natural product; anti-inflammatory drug; anticancer drug; digestive system; structure-activity relationship

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