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Phytochemistry and anticancer potential of graviola (Annona muricata)
* 1 , 2 , 3
1  Centro Paraibano de Oncologia
2  Farmacêutico
3  Faculdade Mauricio de Nassau


Cancer is an invasive proliferative disease that is ranked among death leaders
worldwide. There is a need in prospecting for novel therapeutic molecules, as
well as the formulation of more effective chemotherapeutics. Since more than
40% of antineoplastics are derivative from natural products, the latter and their
synthetic analogues have been widely used in this process, starting from simple
to complex molecules, promoting specific target molecule targeting. The use of
folk medicine helped in the discovery of a class with anticancer potential:
acetogenin (AG). AG belong to the class of polyketides, present in the family
Annonaceae. Thus, the objective of the present study was to carry out a review
of prospective literature on the use of graviola (Annona muricata) with antitumor
activity and future perspectives as chemotherapeutic. The review was
conducted through the Medline/PubMed and Science Direct databases,
selecting scientific articles on the subject, characterizing the literature review.
The graviola has a quantity greater than 70 acetogenins (AG) that are
distributed in the stem, leaves and seeds. AG has been shown to participate in
the process of inducing death in tumor cells resistant to other chemotherapeutic
agents. Many AG derivatives have shown toxicity against cancer cells, including
multiple drug resistant (MDR) strains. Bullatacin, another type of AG, also
showed marked antitumor activity against mammary cells with multiple drug
resistance (MDR) phenotype. Another significant work demonstrated the
participation of graviola AG in tumor cytotoxicity through inhibition of the
mitochondrial complex, which is involved in oxidative phosphorylation and ATP
synthesis. Furthermore, AG promotes apoptosis of breast tumor cells. Thus, the
pharmaceutical technology in the formulation of AG as a chemotherapeutic
reveals a promising future in cancer treatment, especially the types that present
the MDR phenotype, the biggest obstacle in cancer treatment.

Keywords: Chemoterapy;Cancer;Antitumoral;Graviola