Document Type : Review article


OncoWitan, Lille (Wasquehal), 59290, France



The plant Machilus thunbergii Siebold & Zucc., known as Makko tree, is distributed in many countries of south Asia: China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos. The bark of the tree is used for the preparation of incense powder, and the wood is exploited locally. A few applications of the plant in Chinese and Korean traditional medicines have been mentioned, for the treatment of headache, apoplexy, and dyspepsia. This review provides a survey of the main butanolides and neolignans isolated from the bark and leaves of Makko tree, with a focus on anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer compounds. The molecular targets of selected butanolides such as litsenolides A2 and obtusilactone B, and different lignans, including machilins A-I, are discussed. The targeting of lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA) by machilin A is at the origin of anticancer properties. The review highlights the structural diversity and properties of the machilins.

Graphical Abstract

Anticancer butanolides and lignans from the Makko tree, Machilus thunbergii Siebold & Zucc. (Lauraceae). A review


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