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      Pharmacological Activity, Pharmacokinetics, and Toxicity of Timosaponin AIII, a Natural Product Isolated From Anemarrhena asphodeloides Bunge: A Review

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          Anemarrhena asphodeloides Bunge is a famous Chinese Materia Medica and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than two thousand years. Steroidal saponins are important active components isolated from A. asphodeloides Bunge. Among which, the accumulation of numerous experimental studies involved in Timosaponin AIII (Timo AIII) draws our attention in the recent decades. In this review, we searched all the scientific literatures using the key word “timosaponin AIII” in the PubMed database update to March 2020. We comprehensively summarized the pharmacological activity, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity of Timo AIII. We found that Timo AIII presents multiple-pharmacological activities, such as anti-cancer, anti-neuronal disorders, anti-inflammation, anti-coagulant, and so on. And the anti-cancer effect of Timo AIII in various cancers, especially hepatocellular cancer and breast cancer, is supposed as its most potential activity. The anti-inflammatory activity of Timo AIII is also beneficial to many diseases. Moreover, VEGFR, X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), B-cell-specific Moloney murine leukemia virus integration site 1 (BMI1), thromboxane (Tx) A2 receptor, mTOR, NF-κB, COX-2, MMPs, acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and so on are identified as the crucial pharmacological targets of Timo AIII. Furthermore, the hepatotoxicity of Timo AIII was most concerned, and the pharmacokinetics and toxicity of Timo AIII need further studies in diverse animal models. In conclusion, Timo AIII is potent as a compound or leading compound for further drug development while still needs in-depth studies.

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          Cancer drug resistance: an evolving paradigm.

          Resistance to chemotherapy and molecularly targeted therapies is a major problem facing current cancer research. The mechanisms of resistance to 'classical' cytotoxic chemotherapeutics and to therapies that are designed to be selective for specific molecular targets share many features, such as alterations in the drug target, activation of prosurvival pathways and ineffective induction of cell death. With the increasing arsenal of anticancer agents, improving preclinical models and the advent of powerful high-throughput screening techniques, there are now unprecedented opportunities to understand and overcome drug resistance through the clinical assessment of rational therapeutic drug combinations and the use of predictive biomarkers to enable patient stratification.
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              Cancer metastases: challenges and opportunities

              Cancer metastasis is the major cause of cancer morbidity and mortality, and accounts for about 90% of cancer deaths. Although cancer survival rate has been significantly improved over the years, the improvement is primarily due to early diagnosis and cancer growth inhibition. Limited progress has been made in the treatment of cancer metastasis due to various factors. Current treatments for cancer metastasis are mainly chemotherapy and radiotherapy, though the new generation anti-cancer drugs (predominantly neutralizing antibodies for growth factors and small molecule kinase inhibitors) do have the effects on cancer metastasis in addition to their effects on cancer growth. Cancer metastasis begins with detachment of metastatic cells from the primary tumor, travel of the cells to different sites through blood/lymphatic vessels, settlement and growth of the cells at a distal site. During the process, metastatic cells go through detachment, migration, invasion and adhesion. These four essential, metastatic steps are inter-related and affected by multi-biochemical events and parameters. Additionally, it is known that tumor microenvironment (such as extracellular matrix structure, growth factors, chemokines, matrix metalloproteinases) plays a significant role in cancer metastasis. The biochemical events and parameters involved in the metastatic process and tumor microenvironment have been targeted or can be potential targets for metastasis prevention and inhibition. This review provides an overview of these metastasis essential steps, related biochemical factors, and targets for intervention.

                Author and article information

                Front Pharmacol
                Front Pharmacol
                Front. Pharmacol.
                Frontiers in Pharmacology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                03 June 2020
                : 11
                1Department of Cardiovascular Research Laboratory, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine , Shanghai, China
                2Department of Oncology, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University , Urumqi, China
                3College of Basic Medicine, Guizhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine , Guiyang, China
                4State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine and Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau , Macao, Macau
                Author notes

                Edited by: Yan Xu, Cleveland State University, United States

                Reviewed by: Baiping Ma, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, China; Shao-Jiang Song, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, China; Mamdouh Moawad Ali, National Research Centre, Egypt

                *Correspondence: Jing-Yi Tang, dr_tang@ ; Zhong-Yan Zhou, biozzy@

                This article was submitted to Ethnopharmacology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology

                †These authors have contributed equally to this work

                Copyright © 2020 Lin, Zhao, Shi, Zhang, Zhang, Ding, Chen, Tang and Zhou

                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.

                Page count
                Figures: 9, Tables: 3, Equations: 0, References: 102, Pages: 16, Words: 8285
                Funded by: Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine 10.13039/501100010876
                Award ID: A1-N19205010302


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