Natural compounds targeting nuclear receptors for effective cancer therapy

Mangala Hegde, Sosmitha Girisa, Nikunj Naliyadhara, Aviral Kumar, Mohammed S. Alqahtani, Mohamed Abbas, Chakrabhavi Dhananjaya Mohan, Sudha Warrier, Kam Man Hui, Kanchugarakoppal S. Rangappa, Gautam Sethi, Ajaikumar B. Kunnumakkara

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Human nuclear receptors (NRs) are a family of forty-eight transcription factors that modulate gene expression both spatially and temporally. Numerous biochemical, physiological, and pathological processes including cell survival, proliferation, differentiation, metabolism, immune modulation, development, reproduction, and aging are extensively orchestrated by different NRs. The involvement of dysregulated NRs and NR-mediated signaling pathways in driving cancer cell hallmarks has been thoroughly investigated. Targeting NRs has been one of the major focuses of drug development strategies for cancer interventions. Interestingly, rapid progress in molecular biology and drug screening reveals that the naturally occurring compounds are promising modern oncology drugs which are free of potentially inevitable repercussions that are associated with synthetic compounds. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to draw our attention to the potential therapeutic effects of various classes of natural compounds that target NRs such as phytochemicals, dietary components, venom constituents, royal jelly–derived compounds, and microbial derivatives in the establishment of novel and safe medications for cancer treatment. This review also emphasizes molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways that are leveraged to promote the anti-cancer effects of these natural compounds. We have also critically reviewed and assessed the advantages and limitations of current preclinical and clinical studies on this subject for cancer prophylaxis. This might subsequently pave the way for new paradigms in the discovery of drugs that target specific cancer types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-822
Number of pages58
JournalCancer and Metastasis Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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