Recently many studies showed anticancer activities of piperine, a pungent alkaloid
found in black pepper and some other Piper species. We attempted to summarize acquired
data that support anticancer potential of this natural agent. Piperine has been reported
to possess effective chemopreventive activity. It has been studied to affect via several
mechanisms of action, in brief enhancing antioxidant system, increasing level and activity
of detoxifying enzymes and suppressing stem cell self-renewal. Moreover, piperine
has been found to inhibit proliferation and survival of various cancerous cell lines via
modulating cell cycle progression and exhibiting anti-apoptotic activity, respectively.
This compound has been shown to modify activity of various enzymes and transcription
factors to inhibit invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis. Interestingly, piperine has exhibited
antimutagenic activity and also inhibited activity and expression of multidrug resistance
transporters such as P-gp and MRP-1. Besides, about all reviewed studies have reported
selective cytotoxic activity of piperine on cancerous cells in compared with normal
cells. Altogether, the studies completely underline promising candidacy of piperine for
further development. The collected preclinical data we provided in this article can be useful
in the design of future researches especially clinical trials with piperine.
Keywords: Antimutagen, Antineoplast, Alkaloid, Chemoprevention, P. nigrum, Piperine.
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