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Review

Overview of the Anticancer Potential of the “King of Spices” Piper nigrum and Its Main Constituent Piperine

1
Department for Life Quality Studies, Alma Mater Studiorum—Università di Bologna, corso d’Augusto 237, 47921 Rimini, Italy
2
Department of Biomolecular Sciences (DISB), Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Via I Maggetti 26, 61029 Urbino, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 October 2020 / Revised: 18 November 2020 / Accepted: 24 November 2020 / Published: 26 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Toxic and Pharmacological Effect of Plant Toxins)
The main limits of current anticancer therapy are relapses, chemoresistance, and toxic effects resulting from its poor selectivity towards cancer cells that severely impair a patient’s quality of life. Therefore, the discovery of new anticancer drugs remains an urgent challenge. Natural products represent an excellent opportunity due to their ability to target heterogenous populations of cancer cells and regulate several key pathways involved in cancer development, and their favorable toxicological profile. Piper nigrum is one of the most popular spices in the world, with growing fame as a source of bioactive molecules with pharmacological properties. The present review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the anticancer potential of Piper nigrum and its major active constituents—not limited to the well-known piperine—whose undeniable anticancer properties have been reported for different cancer cell lines and animal models. Moreover, the chemosensitizing effects of Piper nigrum in association with traditional anticancer drugs are depicted and its toxicological profile is outlined. Despite the promising results, human studies are missing, which are crucial for supporting the efficacy and safety of Piper nigrum and its single components in cancer patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: Piper nigrum; piperine; cancer therapy; anticancer mechanisms; in vitro studies; in vivo studies; chemosensitization; toxicological profile Piper nigrum; piperine; cancer therapy; anticancer mechanisms; in vitro studies; in vivo studies; chemosensitization; toxicological profile
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MDPI and ACS Style

Turrini, E.; Sestili, P.; Fimognari, C. Overview of the Anticancer Potential of the “King of Spices” Piper nigrum and Its Main Constituent Piperine. Toxins 2020, 12, 747. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12120747

AMA Style

Turrini E, Sestili P, Fimognari C. Overview of the Anticancer Potential of the “King of Spices” Piper nigrum and Its Main Constituent Piperine. Toxins. 2020; 12(12):747. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12120747

Chicago/Turabian Style

Turrini, Eleonora, Piero Sestili, and Carmela Fimognari. 2020. "Overview of the Anticancer Potential of the “King of Spices” Piper nigrum and Its Main Constituent Piperine" Toxins 12, no. 12: 747. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12120747

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