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An active ingredient of Chinese Herb Lulutong inhibits molecular target of colon cancer

The active ingredients of traditional Chinese medicine have the characteristics of good pharmacological activity, novel skeleton and diverse structures, and are a valuable source of innovative drug discovery, but their targets are not clean, which is an significant challenge for the development of traditional Chinese medicine.

Traditional Chinese medicine Lulutong is the dry ripe fruit order of the witch hazel plant maple tree, originally published in the "Compendium of Materia Medica (Ben cao gang mu)", which has been shown to have certain anti-tumor effects, but its molecular mechanism is not clear.

The current study not only revealed that liquidambaric acid (LDA), an active ingredient of Lulutong, inhibits the activity of Wnt signaling pathway and colon cancer, but also found that the LDA target protein TRAF2 is the key scaffold protein of β-catenin/TCF4/TNIK transcription complex, highlighting the superiority of elucidating the function of biological macromolecules based on small molecules of traditional Chinese medicine chemistry, and providing a new insight for the identification of functional targets of active ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine.

Journal title: Cell Reports

Manuscript title: Liquidambaric acid inhibits Wnt/b-catenin signaling and colon cancer via targeting TNF receptor associated factor 2.


Rong Yan , Hongyan Zhu , Piao Huang , Min Yang1, Mengzhen Shen , Yuting Pan , Chengqian Zhang , Xianglian Zhou , Huiliang Li , Xisong Ke , Weidong Zhang , Piliang Hao6, Yi Qu. Liquidambaric acid inhibits Wnt/β-catenin signaling and colon cancer via targeting TNF receptor-associated factor 2. R Cell Rep. 2022;38(5):110319.

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