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An Overview on the Anticancer Potential of Punarnavine: Prediction of Drug-Like Properties

Imad Ahmad1,2, Haroon Khan2,*, Muhammad Usman Amin1, Shah Khalid3, Tapan Behl4, Najeeb Ur Rahman1

1 Department of Pharmacy, Abasyn University, Peshawar, 25000, Pakistan
2 Department of Pharmacy, Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, 23200, Pakistan
3 Department of Botany, Islamia College University, Peshawar, 25120, Pakistan
4 Chitkara College of Pharmacy, Chitkara University, Punjab, 140401, India

* Corresponding Authors: Haroon Khan. Email: ;

Oncologie 2021, 23(3), 321-333.


Punarnavine (PN) has been isolated from the roots of Boerhaavia diffusa L. (Nyctaginaceae). It is an important medicinal plant with a vast historical ethnopharmacological background. Its identification resulted from the interrogation of ‘Punarnava’, a tribal medicinal product. The molecule exhibited its position as incipient anticancer therapeutic agent. The inhibition of NFκB, ATF-2, c-Fos, and CREB-1 are one of the underlying mechanisms of anticancer action along with modification of the immune system. These signalling molecules are upregulated in the cancer microenvironment. Punarnavine also modified the release of interleukins, i.e., upregulated IL-2, IL-7, IL-10, IL-12, IFN-γ, while downregulated IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, VEGF, and GM-CSF. Punarnavine has exhibited its anticancer potential in murine melanoma cell lines, breast cancer and its metastasis to lungs, liver, and lymph nodes by modifying apoptotic pathways and even suppressing metastatic genes like TIMP-1, TIMP-2, MMP-2, MMP-9 and VEGF. The pharmacokinetic and basic drug discovery properties are also discussed concerning in silico databases. This approach exhibited PN as a successful molecule for drug development. The drug-likeness, solubility, GIT absorption, drug metabolism, and bioavailability of PN are promising of its drug candidature and therefore need further detailed studies to ascertain its clinical potential. This article is a preview of the preclinical anticancer profile of Punarnavine, including the computational approach of its drug-like properties.


Cite This Article

Ahmad, I., Khan, H., Amin, M. U., Khalid, S., Behl, T. et al. (2021). An Overview on the Anticancer Potential of Punarnavine: Prediction of Drug-Like Properties. Oncologie, 23(3), 321–333.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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