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Saffron spice --- Crocin, Crocetin, Safranal

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Joined: 4 years ago
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Hi friends, just adding this topic about Saffron.

The toxicity of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and its constituents against normal and cancer cells

21 December 2015

Saffron has a selective toxicity against cancer cells.

Crocin is the most important anticancer agent of saffron.

Crocetin inhibits the growth of cancer cells.


Safranal also has shown antitumor activity with low toxicity. 

Antiproliferative Activity of Crocin Involves Targeting of Microtubules in Breast Cancer Cells.

24 Mar 2017

Crocin, a component of saffron spice, is known to have an anticancer activity.


Crocin depolymerized both the interphase and mitotic microtubules of different cancer cells, inhibited mitosis and induced multipolar spindle formation in these cells.

In vitro, crocin inhibited the assembly of pure tubulin as well as the assembly of microtubule-associated protein rich tubulin.

Electron microscopic analysis showed that crocin inhibited microtubule assembly while it induced aggregation of tubulin at higher concentrations. 


The results suggested that crocin inhibited cell proliferation mainly by disrupting the microtubule network.




Recently, it was indicated that crocin interacts with tubulin in a manner that increases the polymerization of microtubules in vitro, however, the interaction within the cells has not yet been elucidated.

Microtubules are found to be important targets of structurally different groups of antimitotic drugs that have been used with great success in the treatment of cancer.

Tubulin binders either enhance or decrease the polymerization of microtubules and are known to perturb the dynamics of microtubules.

Since microtubule dynamics play an important role in mitosis, this interference leads to blocking or inhibition of cell mitosis.

The best-known compounds that target microtubules are paclitaxel, colchicine and vinblastine.

Anticancer Properties Of Saffron

Issue: Mar 2015

Crocus sativus L. (saffron) for cancer chemoprevention: A mini review

Published online: 2015 Jan 28





Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 115
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Hi friends, just adding the following after reading this article:

Saffron Crudes and Compounds Restrict MACC1-Dependent Cell Proliferation and Migration of Colorectal Cancer Cells

Published: 3 August 2020


The high mortality rate of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients is directly associated with metastatic dissemination.
However, therapeutic options specifically for metastasis are still limited.
We previously identified Metastasis-Associated in Colon Cancer 1 (MACC1) as a major causal metastasis-inducing gene.
Numerous studies confirmed its value as a biomarker for metastasis risk.
We investigated the inhibitory impact of saffron on MACC1-induced cancer cell growth and motility.
Saffron crudes restricted the proliferation and migration of MACC1-expressing CRC cells in a concentration- and MACC1-dependent manner.
Saffron delays cell cycle progression at G2/M-phase and does not induce apoptosis.
Rescue experiments showed that these effects are reversible.
Analysis of active saffron compounds elucidated that crocin was the main compound that reproduced total saffron crudes effects.
We showed the interaction of MACC1 with the cancer stem cell (CSC) marker DCLK1, which contributes to metastasis formation in different tumor entities.
Saffron extracts reduced DCLK1 with crocin being responsible for this reduction.
Saffron’s anti-proliferative and anti-migratory effects in MACC1-expressing cells are mediated by crocin through DCLK1 down-regulation.
This research is the first identification of saffron-based compounds restricting cancer cell proliferation and motility progression via the novel target MACC1.
In conclusion, for MACC1-driven cells, the anti-migration effect of saffron is strongly mediated by crocin. This is paralleled by a decrease in proliferation and migration via reversible G2/M cell arrest.
In summary, saffron is a promising herb for the treatment of MACC1-expressing CRC.
In addition, saffron might complement current standard therapy modalities like radio- and chemotherapy. The application of saffron or its main compound crocin for treatment of MACC1-driven CRC warrants further investigation.

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