What is 4-MU (4-Methylumbeliferone)?

IAS News 10 May 2017 | 0 Comments

4-Methylumbeliferone (4-MU) isn’t new to the world of science and good health. It has a long history as a safe oral nutritional supplement and commonly used to treat liver conditions.

There has been great interest in identifying pharmacologic tools to inhibit hyaluronic acid synthesis and 4-MU has recently received much attention.

Awareness of the supplement 4-MU is building and when it comes to your health, knowledge is power. Without good health, you limit your opportunities and choices in life. Talking to others will help and charities are there to support you if you do have medical conditions and need assistance.

So, what is 4-MU?

Scientifically speaking, 4-MU is an effective nontoxic oral chemopreventative and therapeutic agent that targets PCa development growth and metastasis by abrogating hyaluronic acid signalling, vitro and vino. It is a hyaluronic acid biosynthesis inhibitor with antitumoral and antimetastic effects. Hyaluronic acid is primarily responsible for generating elevated gel-fluid in tumors and it plays a central role in many disease processes.

This article is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion or treatment. We are simply shedding light on a topic that has recently picked up momentum and it appears that 4-MU has a great future ahead of itself.

The control of hyaluronic acid is considered to be a promising approach in the efforts to treat many diseases and that’s where 4-MU could have a leading role.

The name of the 4-MU product is Hymecromone or Cantabiline. It is commonly used in Europe and Asia to improve liver health. 4-MU is a coumarin of vegetal origin and a very effective inhibitor of HAS3 and HAS2.

The experts have spoken about the supplement and tests show that 4-MU can have a positive effect on the human body.

Vinata B. Lokeshwar, Ph.D., professor of urology at the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute said, “We found that 4-methylumbelliferone (4-MU) was able to block a key signalling pathway that triggers the development, growth and metastasis of prostate cancer.”

After completing her tests Lokeshwar said, “The results were amazing.”

What does 4-MU mean to you and me?

It is a dietary supplement that, like others, that can help a list of conditions. Most importantly, its potential ability to suppress hyaluronan synthesis and tumor progression. It could have the ability to shut down cell growth that works negatively in the human body.

To you and me, 4-MU is a supplement to assist in our wellbeing and something that scientists are getting quite excited about.

The history of 4-MU, from mice to men…

It is written that 4-MU started to be used in Germany in the 1930s. Recently declassified documents that were originally in ‘Operation Paper Clip’ at the end of World War II studies by German doctors on German military soldiers and prisoners in concentration camps showed a reversal in cancer. In this last decade, researchers have been testing the preventative and therapeutic potential of 4-MU in a transgenic mouse model of prostate cancer that mimics prostate cancer in men. Their findings revealed that when treatment started early it inhibited prostate cancer development and growth. 4-MU did all of this without causing any toxicity to the host. The tests also revealed that 4-MU had halted the growth of new blood vessels, cutting off the nutrient supply to prostate tumors and reversing their ability to metastasize.

4-MU is now being used by men all over the world that have prostate related health issues.

Scientifically speaking, how does 4-MU work?

Using a HA enriched mouse bligodendroglioma cell line G26-24, it was found that MU elevated the activity of NSMase2 and enhanced ceramide levels, which in turn potentiated phosphatase PP2A activity. Further, the activated PP2A decreased phosphorylation of Akt, reduced activities of HA synthase2 (HAS2) and calpains, and blocked both the synthesis of HA, and the migration and invasion of G26-24 tumor cells. In addition, MU mediated ceramide induceramide induced activation of p53 and caspase-3, decreased SIRT1 expression and deduced G26-24 viability. The mechanism of the MU anticancer therefore initially involves NSMase2/ceramide/PP2A/AKT/HAS2/caspase-3/p53/SIRT1 and the calpain signalling pathway, indicating that ceramides play an important role in the ability of a tumor to become aggressively metastatic and grow.


4-MU has the potential to prevent or halt the detrimental effects of hyaluronic acid in the human body by fighting the baddies with a safe oral supplement.

For further in depth reading on understanding 4-MU: 4-Methylumbelliferones Analogues as Anticancer Agents: Synthesis and in Cell Pharmacological Studies.


This is a research article dated 1st April 2017.

The article reveals that results indicate that the strategy for the rational design of 4-MU derivatives may identify potential anticancer agents.

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