Design of Hedgehog pathway inhibitors for cancer treatment

Jitender Bariwal, Virender Kumar, Yuxiang Dong, Ram I. Mahato

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is involved in the initiation and progression of various cancers and is essential for embryonic and postnatal development. This pathway remains in the quiescent state in adult tissues but gets activated upon inflammation and injuries. Inhibition of Hh signaling pathway using natural and synthetic compounds has provided an attractive approach for treating cancer and inflammatory diseases. While the majority of Hh pathway inhibitors target the transmembrane protein Smoothened (SMO), some small molecules that target the signaling cascade downstream of SMO are of particular interest. Substantial efforts are being made to develop new molecules targeting various components of the Hh signaling pathway. Here, we have discussed the discovery of small molecules as Hh inhibitors from the diverse chemical background. Also, some of the recently identified natural products have been included as a separate section. Extensive structure-activity relationship (SAR) of each chemical class is the focus of this review. Also, clinically advanced molecules are discussed from the last 5 to 7 years. Nanomedicine-based delivery approaches for Hh pathway inhibitors are also discussed concisely.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1204
Number of pages68
JournalMedicinal Research Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2019


  • GDC-0449
  • Hedgehog inhibitor
  • SMO
  • Smoothened
  • cancer
  • cyclopamine
  • nanomedicine
  • structure-activity relationship (SAR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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