Ursolic acid (UA) is a sort of pentacyclic triterpenoid carboxylic acid purified from natural plant. UA has a series of biological effects such as sedative, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-diabetic, antiulcer, etc. It is discovered that UA has a broad-spectrum anti-tumor effect in recent years, which has attracted more and more scholars’ attention. This review explained anti-tumor actions of UA, including (1) the protection of cells’ DNA from different damages; (2) the anti-tumor cell proliferation by the inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor/mitogen-activated protein kinase signal or of FoxM1 transcription factors, respectively; (3) antiangiogenesis, (4) the immunological surveillance to tumors; (5) the inhibition of tumor cell migration and invasion; (6) the effect of UA on caspase, cytochromes C, nuclear factor kappa B, cyclooxygenase, tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) or mammalian target of rapamycin signal to induce tumor cell apoptosis respectively, and etc. Moreover, UA has selective toxicity to tumor cells, basically no effect on normal cells. With further studies, UA would be one of the potential anti-tumor agents.
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Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( No. 30772601)
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Zang, Ll., Wu, Bn., Lin, Y. et al. Research progress of ursolic acid’s anti-tumor actions. Chin. J. Integr. Med. 20, 72–79 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11655-013-1541-4
- ursolic acid
- research progress