Mangiferin and Cancer: Mechanisms of Action

Nutrients. 2016 Jun 28;8(7):396. doi: 10.3390/nu8070396.


Mangiferin, a bioactive compound derived primarily from Anacardiaceae and Gentianaceae families and found in mangoes and honeybush tea, has been extensively studied for its therapeutic properties. Mangiferin has shown promising chemotherapeutic and chemopreventative potential. This review focuses on the effect of mangiferin on: (1) inflammation, with respect to NFκB, PPARү and the immune system; (2) cell cycle, the MAPK pathway G₂/M checkpoint; (3) proliferation and metastasis, and implications on β-catenin, MMPs, EMT, angiogenesis and tumour volume; (4) apoptosis, with a focus on Bax/Bcl ratios, intrinsic/extrinsic apoptotic pathways and telomerase activity; (5) oxidative stress, through Nrf2/ARE signalling, ROS elimination and catalase activity; and (6) efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents, such as oxaliplatin, etoposide and doxorubicin. In addition, the need to enhance the bioavailability and delivery of mangiferin are briefly addressed, as well as the potential for toxicity.

Keywords: NFκB; bioavailability; cancer; cell cycle; combination therapy; hallmarks of cancer; inflammation; mangiferin; nutraceuticals; oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anacardiaceae / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Synergism
  • Gentianaceae / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Toxicity Tests
  • Xanthones / chemistry
  • Xanthones / pharmacology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Xanthones
  • mangiferin