Therapeutic targeting of oncogenic transcription factors by natural products in eye cancer

Michelle G. Zhang, John Y. Lee, Ryan A. Gallo, Wensi Tao, David Tse, Ravi Doddapaneni, Daniel Pelaez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Carcinogenesis has a multifactorial etiology, and the underlying molecular pathogenesis is still not entirely understood, especially for eye cancers. Primary malignant intraocular neoplasms are relatively rare, but delayed detection and inappropriate management contribute to poor outcomes. Conventional treatment, such as orbital exenteration, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy, alone results in high mortality for many of these malignancies. Recent sequential multimodal therapy with a combination of high-dose chemotherapy, followed by appropriate surgery, radiotherapy, and additional adjuvant chemotherapy has helped dramatically improve management. Transcription factors are proteins that regulate gene expression by modulating the synthesis of mRNA. Since transcription is a dominant control point in the production of many proteins, transcription factors represent key regulators for numerous cellular functions, including proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis, making them compelling targets for drug development. Natural compounds have been studied for their potential to be potent yet safe chemotherapeutic drugs. Since the ancient times, plant-derived bioactive molecules have been used to treat dreadful diseases like cancer, and several refined pharmaceutics have been developed from these compounds. Understanding targeting mechanisms of oncogenic transcription factors by natural products can add to our oncologic management toolbox. This review summarizes the current findings of natural products in targeting specific oncogenic transcription factors in various types of eye cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-374
Number of pages10
JournalPharmacological Research
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Eye cancer
  • Natural products
  • Oncogenic transcription factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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