Deregulated mucin expression is a hallmark of several inflammatory and malignant pathologies. Emerging evidence suggests that, apart from biomarkers, these deregulated mucins are functional contributors to the pathogenesis in inflammation and cancer. Both overexpression and downregulation of mucins in various organ systems is associated with pathobiology of inflammation and cancer. Restoration of mucin homeostasis has become an important goal for therapy and management of such disorders has fueled the quest for selective mucomodulators. With improved understanding of mucin regulation and mechanistic insights into their pathobiological roles, there is optimism to find selective non-toxic agents capable of modulating mucin expression and function. Recently, natural compounds derived from dietary sources have drawn attention due to their anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and low toxicity. Considerable efforts have been directed towards evaluating dietary natural products as chemopreventive and therapeutic agents; identification, characterization and synthesis of their active compounds; and improving their delivery and bioavailability. We describe the current understanding of mucin regulation, rationale for targeting mucins with natural products and discuss some natural products that modulate mucin expression and functions. We further discuss the approaches and parameters that should guide future research to identify and evaluate selective natural mucomodulators for therapy.
- Natural compounds
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging