Honokiol (3',5-di-(2-propenyl)-1,1'-biphenyl-2,4'-diol) is a bioactive natural product derived from Magnolia spp. Recent studies have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic, anti-oxidative and anticancer properties of honokiol in vitro and in preclinical models. Honokiol targets multiple signaling pathways including nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB), signal transducers and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and mammalian target of rapamycin (m-TOR), which have great relevance during cancer initiation and progression. Furthermore, pharmacokinetic profile of honokiol has revealed a desirable spectrum of bioavailability after intravenous administration in animal models, thus making it a suitable agent for clinical trials. In this review, we discuss recent data describing the molecular targets of honokiol and its anti-cancer activities against various malignancies in pre-clinical models. Evaluation of honokiol in clinical trials will be the next step towards its possible human applications.
- Natural agent