Withaferin A: A Pleiotropic Anticancer Agent from the Indian Medicinal Plant Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal




Kumar, Suneel
Mathew, Stephen O.
Aharwal, Ravindra P.
Tulli, Hardeep S.
Mohan, Chakrabhavi D.
Sethi, Gautam
Ahn, Kwang-Seok
Webber, Kassidy
Sandhu, Sardul S.
Bishayee, Anupam


0000-0001-5784-224X (Mathew, Stephen O.)

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Cancer represents the second most deadly disease and one of the most important public health concerns worldwide. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immune therapy are the major types of treatment strategies that have been implemented in cancer treatment. Unfortunately, these treatment options suffer from major limitations, such as drug-resistance and adverse effects, which may eventually result in disease recurrence. Many phytochemicals have been investigated for their antitumor efficacy in preclinical models and clinical studies to discover newer therapeutic agents with fewer adverse effects. Withaferin A, a natural bioactive molecule isolated from the Indian medicinal plant Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal, has been reported to impart anticancer activities against various cancer cell lines and preclinical cancer models by modulating the expression and activity of different oncogenic proteins. In this article, we have comprehensively discussed the biosynthesis of withaferin A as well as its antineoplastic activities and mode-of-action in in vitro and in vivo settings. We have also reviewed the effect of withaferin A on the expression of miRNAs, its combinational effect with other cytotoxic agents, withaferin A-based formulations, safety and toxicity profiles, and its clinical potential.



Kumar, S., Mathew, S. O., Aharwal, R. P., Tulli, H. S., Mohan, C. D., Sethi, G., Ahn, K.-S., Webber, K., Sandhu, S. S., & Bishayee, A. (2023). Withaferin A: A Pleiotropic Anticancer Agent from the Indian Medicinal Plant Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal. Pharmaceuticals, 16(2), 160. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020160


© 2023 by the authors.


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