Baicalein decreases uric acid and prevents hyperuricemic nephropathy in mice
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and a major global health problem. In recent decades, the rates of both mortality and morbidity of cancer have rapidly increased for a variety of reasons. Despite treatment options, there are serious side effects associated with chemotherapy drugs and multiple forms of drug resistance that significantly reduce their effects. There is an accumulating amount of evidence on the pharmacological activities of baicalein (e.g., anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, and antitumor effects). Furthermore, there has been great progress in elucidating the target mechanisms and signaling pathways of baicalein's anti-cancer potential. The anti-tumor functions of baicalein are mainly due to its capacities to inhibit complexes of cyclins to regulate the cell cycle, to scavenge oxidative radicals, to attenuate mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK), protein kinase B (Akt) or mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activities, to induce apoptosis by activating caspase-9/-3 and to inhibit tumorinvasion and metastasis by reducing the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2/-9 (MMP-2/-9). In this review, we focused on the relevant biological mechanisms of baicalein involved in inhibiting various cancers, such as bladder cancer, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer. Moreover, we also summarized the specific mechanisms by which baicalein inhibited the growth of various tumors in vivo. Taken together, baicalein may be developed as a potential, novel anticancer drug to treat tumors.