The anticancer effect of natural plant alkaloid isoquinolines

Dahye Yun, So Young Yoon, Soo Jung Park, Yoon Jung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Isoquinoline alkaloids-enriched herbal plants have been used as traditional folk medicine for their anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and analgesic effects. They induce cell cycle arrest, apopto-sis, and autophagy, leading to cell death. While the molecular mechanisms of these effects are not fully understood, it has been suggested that binding to nucleic acids or proteins, enzyme inhibition, and epigenetic modulation by isoquinoline alkaloids may play a role in the effects. This review discusses recent evidence on the molecular mechanisms by which the isoquinoline alkaloids can be a therapeutic target of cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1653
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea (2018R1D1A1B07051274 to Y.J.P.; 2020R1F1A1076181 to S.J.P.) and Brain Korea Four Project (Education Research Center for 4IR-Based Health Care).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Anticancer
  • Apoptosis
  • Autophagy
  • Cell cycle arrest
  • Epigenetic regulation
  • Isoquinoline alkaloids


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