Tumor Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 5111–5119 | Cite as

Anti-tumor activities of matrine and oxymatrine: literature review

  • Yan Liu
  • Yang Xu
  • Weidan Ji
  • Xiaoya Li
  • Bin Sun
  • Quangen GaoEmail author
  • Changqing SuEmail author


Matrine (MT) and oxymatrine (OMT), two kinds of alkaloid components found in the roots of Sophora species, have various pharmacological activities and are demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-virus, anti-fibrotic, and cardiovascular protective effects. They are recently proved to have anti-cancer potentials, such as inhibiting cancer cell proliferation, inducing cell cycle arrest, accelerating apoptosis, restraining angiogenesis, inducing cell differentiation, inhibiting cancer metastasis and invasion, reversing multidrug resistance, and preventing or reducing chemotherapy- or radiotherapy-induced toxicity when combined with other chemotherapeutic drugs. In this review, we summarize the recent investigations regarding the anti-cancer activities and possible molecular targets of MT and OMT for cancer prevention and treatment in order to provide clues and references for further study.


Matrine Oxymatrine Anticancer activity Molecular mechanism 



This work was supported by grants from the Plan Project of Shanghai Outstanding Academic Leaders (13XD1400300), the National Significant Science and Technology Special Projects of New Drugs Creation (2014ZX09101003), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81370552, 81372472).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of General SurgeryWujiang No.1 People’s HospitalSuzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Molecular Oncology, Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgical HospitalSecond Military Medical UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Graduate SchoolXuzhou Medical CollegeXuzhouChina

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