The Indian long pepper is a plant commonly used in combination with other herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine and other types of traditional medicine. This traditional herb comes from the Pepper family. The plant is called Pepper longicornis. The Indian long pepper is used to treat gastrointestinal diseases, lung diseases, arthritis, menstruation, and many other ailments, but there is no scientific evidence to support these uses.
Piperlongumine, a compound found in the long pepper plant in India. It is known to kill cancer cells in many tumors, including tumors. Now, a recent study by an international research team including researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has revealed a way for Piperlongumine to fight glioblastoma in animal models.
Their research results were published in a paper entitled “Allosteric Antagonist Modulation of TRPV2 by Piperlongumine Impairs Glioblastoma Progression” in the 《journal ACS Central Science》.
The researchers wrote: “Natural products provide a lot of opportunities for the development of innovative drugs. However, understanding their mechanism of action is still the bottleneck for releasing their hope in drug discovery. Chemical proteomics is a privileged approach to uncovering new biology for therapeutic molecules. However, this method is time consuming and laborious, and it is not possible to identify membrane proteins and targets with only tiny expressions.
The researchers showed how Piperlongumine binds to and blocks the activity of a protein called TRPV2. TRPV2 has been proven to be a tumor biomarker and a new therapeutic target. This protein is involved in signaling pathways that mediate cell survival, proliferation and metastasis.
The researchers explained: “This study provides us with a clearer picture of how Piperlongumine can fight glioblastoma, and in principle allows us to develop more effective treatments.
Cancers like glioblastoma are difficult to treat because they require drug molecules to enter the brain from the blood. Researchers have developed a hydrogel scaffold that can be filled with Piperlongumine and implanted in the body. In two different mouse models of glioblastoma, they proved that their Piperlongumine-filled scaffold almost completely destroyed glioblastoma, and compared with untreated mice, it greatly extended the mice’s Time to live. They also observed similar results on glioblastoma cells from human patients.
The researchers are now working hard to advance their strategy to further preclinical studies. They are also studying the molecule TRPV2 further.