Gastrointestinal Cancer Therapeutics via Triggering Unfolded Protein Response and Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress by 2-Arylbenzofuran

Kui Zhang, Xin Hu, Jingjing Su, Dong Li, Abhimanyu Thakur, Vikramsingh Gujar, Hongjuan Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Gastrointestinal cancers are a major global health challenge, with high mortality rates. This study investigated the anti-cancer activities of 30 monomers extracted from Morus alba L. (mulberry) against gastrointestinal cancers. Toxicological assessments revealed that most of the compounds,
particularly immunotoxicity, exhibit some level of toxicity, but it is generally not life-threatening under normal conditions. Among these components, Sanggenol L, Sanggenon C, Kuwanon H, 3′-Geranyl-3- prenyl-5,7,2′,4′tetrahydroxyflavone, Morusinol, Mulberrin, Moracin P, Kuwanon E, and Kuwanon A demonstrate significant anti-cancer properties against various gastrointestinal cancers, including colon, pancreatic, and gastric cancers. The anti-cancer mechanism of these chemical components was explored in gastric cancer cells, revealing that they inhibit cell cycle and DNA replication related gene expression, leading to the effective suppression of tumor cell growth. Additionally,
they induced unfolded protein response (UPR) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, potentially resulting in DNA damage, autophagy, and cell death. Moracin P, an active monomer characterized as a 2-arylbenzofuran, was found to induce ER stress and promote apoptosis in gastric cancer cells, confirming its potential to inhibit tumor cell growth in vitro and in vivo. These findings highlight the
therapeutic potential of Morus alba L. monomers in gastrointestinal cancers, especially focusing on Moracin P as a potent inducer of ER stress and apoptosis.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number999
StatePublished - 13 Jan 2024


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