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Current Molecular Pharmacology


ISSN (Print): 1874-4672
ISSN (Online): 1874-4702

Review Article

Carvacrol as a Prospective Regulator of Cancer Targets/Signalling Pathways

Author(s): Jyoti Singh, Suaib Luqman* and Abha Meena*

Volume 16, Issue 5, 2023

Published on: 08 September, 2022

Article ID: e050722206644 Pages: 17

DOI: 10.2174/1874467215666220705142954

Price: $65


Background: Carvacrol is a naturally occurring phenolic isopropyl monoterpene isolated from oregano, thyme, pepperwort, ajwain, marjoram, and wild bergamot. It possesses pharmacological activities, including anticancer, anti-genotoxic, and anti-inflammation associated with antioxidant properties. The antioxidant property of carvacrol is found to be accountable for its anticancer property. Thus, the present review summarizes and discusses the anticancer potential of carvacrol, revealing its target, signalling pathways, efficacy, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity.

Objective: Carvacrol showed promising activity to be considered in more detail for cancer treatment. This review aims to summarize the evidence concerning the understanding of anticancer potential of carvacrol. However, the mode of action of carvacrol is not yet fully explored and hence requires detailed exploratory studies. This review consists of carvacol’s in vitro, in vivo, preclinical and clinical studies.

Methods: A literature search was done by searching various online databases like Pubmed, Scopus, and Google Scholar with the specific keyword “Carvacrol,” along with other keywords, such as “antioxidant properties,” “oncology research,” “genotoxicity,” and “anti-inflammatory property”.

Results: Carvacrol possesses weak mutagenic and genotoxic potential at non-toxic doses. Carvacrol alone shows the potential to target cancerous cells and significantly deter the growth of cancer cells; this is a targeted method. It offers anti-inflammatory effects by decreasing oxidative stress, primarily targeting ER and mitochondria. Carvacrol depicts targeted explicitly ROSdependent and mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis in different cancer cells. Moreover, carvacrol significantly regulates the cell cycle and prevents tumor progression. Few reports also suggest its significant role in inhibiting cell migration, invasion, and angiogenesis in tumor cells. Hence, carvacrol affects cell survival and cell-killing activity by targeting key biomarkers and major signalling pathways, including PI3K/AKT/mTOR, MAPK, STAT3, and Notch.

Conclusion: Until now, its anticancer mechanism is not yet fully explored. A limited number of research studies have been conducted on carvacrol. It possesses both cancer prevention and cancer therapeutic properties. This molecule needs more validatory research so that it can be analyzed precisely.

Keywords: Carvacrol, terpenoids, phytochemicals, anti-cancer, signalling pathway, biomarker.

Graphical Abstract
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