Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(8):1600-1609. doi:10.7150/ijbs.34716 This issue


Curcumol: From Plant Roots to Cancer Roots

Wei Wei1, Azhar Rasul2,3, Ayesha Sadiqa3, Iqra Sarfraz3, Ghulam Hussain4, Bushra Nageen3, Xintong Liu1, Nobumoto Watanabe5, Zeliha Selamoglu6, Muhammad Ali7, Xiaomeng Li2✉, Jiang Li1✉

1. Dental Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China
2. The Key Laboratory of Molecular Epigenetics of MOE, Institute of Genetics and Cytology, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China
3. Department of Zoology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Government College University Faisalabad (GCUF), 38000, Pakistan
4. Department of Physiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Government College University Faisalabad (GCUF), 38000, Pakistan
5. Bio-Active Compounds Discovery Research Unit, RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan
6. Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Nigde Ömer Halisdemir University, Nigde, Campus 51240 Turkey
7. Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, 45320, Pakistan

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) license ( See for full terms and conditions.
Wei W, Rasul A, Sadiqa A, Sarfraz I, Hussain G, Nageen B, Liu X, Watanabe N, Selamoglu Z, Ali M, Li X, Li J. Curcumol: From Plant Roots to Cancer Roots. Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(8):1600-1609. doi:10.7150/ijbs.34716. Available from

File import instruction


Graphic abstract

Natural products, an infinite treasure of bioactive scaffolds, have provided an excellent reservoir for the discovery of drugs since millennium. These naturally occurring, biologically active and therapeutically effective chemical entities have emerged as novel paradigm for the prevention of various diseases. This review aims to give an update on the sources as well as pharmacological profile of curcumol, a pharmacologically active sesquiterpenoid, which is an imperative bioactive constituent of several plants mainly from genus Curcuma. Curcumol has potential to fight against cancer, oxidative stress, neurodegeneration, microbial infections, and inflammation. Curcumol has been documented as potent inducer of apoptosis in numerous cancer cells via targeting key signaling pathways as MAPK/ERK, PI3K/Akt and NF-κB which are generally deregulated in several cancers. The reported data reveals multitarget activity of curcumol in cancer treatment suggesting its importance as anticancer drug in future. It is speculated that curcumol may provide an excellent opportunity for the cure of cancer but further investigations on mechanism of its action and preclinical trials are still mandatory to further validate the potential of this natural cancer killer in anticancer therapies.

Keywords: Anticancer, Biological activities, Curcumol, Natural products