Anti-SARS-CoV and Anti-cancer Effects of Emodin

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Basic Science, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran Medical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Biology, Hamedan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Hamedan, Iran.

4 Department of Biology, Urmia Branch, Islamic Azad University, Urmia, Iran.

5 Department of Biology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, Ahar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahar, Iran.


Background and aims: The SARS-CoV-2 disease 2019 (COVID-19), whose spread started in the late December in 2019 in China, is the main concern in the world today. Potential anti-coronavirus targets can be categorized into two classes depending on the target, one is operating on the host immune system or human cells, and the other is on coronavirus itself. Anthraquinones are generally extracted from the Polygonaceae family, and have many beneficiary characteristics such as being antibacterial, anti-cancer and anti-diabetes. Emodin anthraquinones represent an important role in human health and have golden healthful features making them a drug to cure many illnesses. The aim of this study was to review the inhibiting effect of emodin on cancer and SARS-CoV-2.
Methods: This comprehensive literature review was performed on papers that have been published from 1994 till 2020 in various data resources such as NCBI, Science direct, Springer and Web of science. The selected keywords were emodin, medicinal plant, anticancer plant and medicinal herbs, cancer and SARS-CoV-2.
Results: Different studies were found that emodin is known as an effective agent to obstruct the interaction of the S protein of SARS-CoV and the host ACE2 (Angiotensin converting enzyme 2) and the infection caused by the retrovirus. In addition, the outbreak of cancer in patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is more than it among the general population.
Conclusion: Therefore, the present research is going to outline and highlight the anti SARS-CoV-2 therapeutic strategies of emodin and the anti-cancer characteristics’ of this drug.


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