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      Tap the sap – investigation of latex-bearing plants in the search of potential anticancer biopharmaceuticals


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          Latex-bearing plants have been in the research spotlight for the past couple of decades. Since ancient times their extracts have been used in folk medicine to treat various illnesses. Currently they serve as promising candidates for cancer treatment. Up to date there have been several in vitro and in vivo studies related to the topic of cytotoxicity and anticancer activity of extracts from latex-bearing plants towards various cell types. The number of clinical studies still remains scarce, however, over the years the number is systematically increasing. To the best of our knowledge, the scientific community is still lacking in a recent review summarizing the research on the topic of cytotoxicity and anticancer activity of latex-bearing plant extracts. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to review the current knowledge on in vitro and in vivo studies, which focus on the cytotoxicity and anticancer activities of latex-bearing plants. The vast majority of the studies are in vitro, however, the interest in this topic has resulted in the substantial growth of the number of in vivo studies, leading to a promising number of plant species whose latex can potentially be tested in clinical trials. The paper is divided into sections, each of them focuses on specific latex-bearing plant family representatives and their potential anticancer activity, which in some instances is comparable to that induced by commonly used therapeutics currently available on the market. The cytotoxic effect of the plant’s crude latex, its fractions or isolated compounds, is analyzed, along with a study of cell apoptosis, chromatin condensation, DNA damage, changes in gene regulation and morphology changes, which can be observed in cell post plant extract addition. The in vivo studies go beyond the molecular level by showing significant reduction of the tumor growth and volume in animal models. Additionally, we present data regarding plant-mediated biosynthesis of nanoparticles, which is regarded as a new branch in plant latex research. It is solely based on the green-synthesis approach, which presents an interesting alternative to chemical-based nanoparticle synthesis. We have analyzed the cytotoxic effect of these particles on cells. Data regarding the cytotoxicity of such particles raises their potential to be involved in the design of novel cancer therapies, which further underlines the significance of latex-bearing plants in biotechnology. Throughout the course of this review, we concluded that plant latex is a rich source of many compounds, which can be further investigated and applied in the design of anticancer pharmaceuticals. The molecules, to which this cytotoxic effect can be attributed, include alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, terpenoids, proteases, nucleases and many novel compounds, which still remain to be characterized. They have been studied extensively in both in vitro and in vivo studies, which provide an excellent starting point for their rapid transfer to clinical studies in the near future. The comprehensive study of molecules from latex-bearing plants can result in finding a promising alternative to several pharmaceuticals on the market and help unravel the molecular mode of action of latex-based preparations.

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          Cancer statistics, 2022

          Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths in the United States and compiles the most recent data on population-based cancer occurrence and outcomes. Incidence data (through 2018) were collected by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program; the National Program of Cancer Registries; and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. Mortality data (through 2019) were collected by the National Center for Health Statistics. In 2022, 1,918,030 new cancer cases and 609,360 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States, including approximately 350 deaths per day from lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death. Incidence during 2014 through 2018 continued a slow increase for female breast cancer (by 0.5% annually) and remained stable for prostate cancer, despite a 4% to 6% annual increase for advanced disease since 2011. Consequently, the proportion of prostate cancer diagnosed at a distant stage increased from 3.9% to 8.2% over the past decade. In contrast, lung cancer incidence continued to decline steeply for advanced disease while rates for localized-stage increased suddenly by 4.5% annually, contributing to gains both in the proportion of localized-stage diagnoses (from 17% in 2004 to 28% in 2018) and 3-year relative survival (from 21% to 31%). Mortality patterns reflect incidence trends, with declines accelerating for lung cancer, slowing for breast cancer, and stabilizing for prostate cancer. In summary, progress has stagnated for breast and prostate cancers but strengthened for lung cancer, coinciding with changes in medical practice related to cancer screening and/or treatment. More targeted cancer control interventions and investment in improved early detection and treatment would facilitate reductions in cancer mortality.
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            Apoptosis: a review of programmed cell death.

            The process of programmed cell death, or apoptosis, is generally characterized by distinct morphological characteristics and energy-dependent biochemical mechanisms. Apoptosis is considered a vital component of various processes including normal cell turnover, proper development and functioning of the immune system, hormone-dependent atrophy, embryonic development and chemical-induced cell death. Inappropriate apoptosis (either too little or too much) is a factor in many human conditions including neurodegenerative diseases, ischemic damage, autoimmune disorders and many types of cancer. The ability to modulate the life or death of a cell is recognized for its immense therapeutic potential. Therefore, research continues to focus on the elucidation and analysis of the cell cycle machinery and signaling pathways that control cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. To that end, the field of apoptosis research has been moving forward at an alarmingly rapid rate. Although many of the key apoptotic proteins have been identified, the molecular mechanisms of action or inaction of these proteins remain to be elucidated. The goal of this review is to provide a general overview of current knowledge on the process of apoptosis including morphology, biochemistry, the role of apoptosis in health and disease, detection methods, as well as a discussion of potential alternative forms of apoptosis.
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              Engineering precision nanoparticles for drug delivery

              In recent years, the development of nanoparticles has expanded into a broad range of clinical applications. Nanoparticles have been developed to overcome the limitations of free therapeutics and navigate biological barriers — systemic, microenvironmental and cellular — that are heterogeneous across patient populations and diseases. Overcoming this patient heterogeneity has also been accomplished through precision therapeutics, in which personalized interventions have enhanced therapeutic efficacy. However, nanoparticle development continues to focus on optimizing delivery platforms with a one-size-fits-all solution. As lipid-based, polymeric and inorganic nanoparticles are engineered in increasingly specified ways, they can begin to be optimized for drug delivery in a more personalized manner, entering the era of precision medicine. In this Review, we discuss advanced nanoparticle designs utilized in both non-personalized and precision applications that could be applied to improve precision therapies. We focus on advances in nanoparticle design that overcome heterogeneous barriers to delivery, arguing that intelligent nanoparticle design can improve efficacy in general delivery applications while enabling tailored designs for precision applications, thereby ultimately improving patient outcome overall.

                Author and article information

                Front Plant Sci
                Front Plant Sci
                Front. Plant Sci.
                Frontiers in Plant Science
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                01 November 2022
                : 13
                : 979678
                [1] 1 Department of Molecular Virology, Institute of Experimental Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University , Poznań, Poland
                [2] 2 NanoBioMedical Centre, Adam Mickiewicz University , Poznań, Poland
                Author notes

                Edited by: Muhammad Ajmal Shah, Hazara University, Pakistan

                Reviewed by: Mohammad Ali, University of Swat, Pakistan; Muhammad Qasim, University of Karachi, Pakistan

                *Correspondence: Alicja Warowicka, alicja@ 123456amu.edu.pl ; Robert Nawrot, rnawrot@ 123456amu.edu.pl

                †These authors have contributed equally to this work and share first authorship

                This article was submitted to Plant Biotechnology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Plant Science

                Copyright © 2022 Mazur, Bałdysz, Warowicka and Nawrot

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 27 June 2022
                : 11 October 2022
                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 5, Equations: 0, References: 212, Pages: 24, Words: 13512
                Plant Science

                Plant science & Botany
                latex-bearing plants,anticancer activity,nanoparticles,natural products,cytotoxicity


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