Chemoprevention of Cancer by Isothiocyanates and Anthocyanins: Mechanisms of Action and Structure-Activity Relationship

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Abstract:

Carcinogenesis is a multi-step, multi-path and multi-focal process, which involves a series of epigenetic and genetic alterations that begin with genomic instability and end with the development of cancer. This long and complex process presents opportunities for the development of interventions both in preventing cancer initiation and in treating the neoplasm during its premalignant stages. Failure and high systemic toxicity of conventional cancer therapies have accelerated the search for newer agents, which could prevent and/or slowdown cancer growth and have more human acceptability by being less or non-toxic. Now, it is recognized that diets rich in fruits and vegetables are associated with lower risk of cancer. Taking cue from these observations, there is a strong interest in isolating and characterizing the nutritive and non-nutritive components of fruits and vegetables as potential chemopreventive agents. Isothiocyanates and anthocyanins, present in widely consumed fruits and vegetables, are two such agents. In recent years, increasing body of evidence has underscored the cancer preventive efficacy of isothiocyanates and anthocyanins in both in vitro and in vivo animal models. In this review article, we will provide detailed insight into the chemopreventive efficacy of isothiocyanates and anthocyanins based on the evidence generated from various studies performed using cell culture or animal models of epithelial cancers. Moreover, we will discuss the potential clinical relevance of the observed chemopreventive effects of these agents.

Keywords: Anthocyanins; antioxidant; apoptosis; cancer chemoprevention; isothiocyanates; phase 2 enzymes; structure-activity relationship

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/092986708783503168

Affiliations: Department of Pharmacology, University of Bologna, via Irnerio 48, 40126 Bologna, Italy.

Publication date: February 1, 2008

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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