Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

, Volume 71, Issue 2, pp 275–285 | Cite as

The anti-cancer activities of jasmonates

  • Ziv Raviv
  • Sharon Cohen
  • Dortit Reischer-Pelech
Review Article


Jasmonates, plant stress hormones protecting the plant from microbial pathogens and environmental stresses, were also discovered to have toxic activities toward mammalian cancer cells. Methyl jasmonate (MJ) was found to be the most active anti-cancer derivate among natural jasmonates, exhibiting a specific cell death-induction effect toward several cancer cells. Since that discovery of jasmonates-inducing cancer cell death, the molecular mechanism of action of jasmonates leading to cell death was deciphered. Moreover, in addition to the direct effects of MJ on cancer cell death, it was found to deregulate several genes and affect various intracellular factors and cellular processes, such as sensitization of apoptotic cell death induced by TRAIL, cancer cell migration attenuation, cell cycle arrest, and differentiation. This mini-review summarizes over a decade of research of jasmonates as anti-cancer agents.


Jasmonates Cancer Apoptosis Mitochondria Cancer metabolism Reactive oxygen species 



This review is dedicated to the memorial and honor of the late Professor Eliezer Flescher, who was the pioneer scientist on the subject of jasmonates in cancer therapy. This work was supported in part by a grant from the Cooperation Program in Cancer Research of the Deutsches Krebsforschunszentrum (DKFZ) and by the Israel Cancer Association to E. Flescher.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ziv Raviv
    • 1
  • Sharon Cohen
    • 1
  • Dortit Reischer-Pelech
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Microbiology, Sackler School of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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