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Naturally Occurring Hydroxytyrosol: Synthesis and Anticancer Potential

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Several epidemiological and animal studies have suggested that polyphenols, a group of secondary plant metabolites occurring mainly in the plant kingdom, may have a protective effect against some chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer. Polyphenols are part of the human diet, being present in vegetal food and beverages. Among them, an olive biophenol named hydroxytyrosol [2-(3,4- dihydroxyphenyl)ethanol, HTyr] has recently received particular attention because of its antioxidant, antiproliferative, pro-apoptotic, and anti-inflammatory activities, which have the potential to specifically counteract all cancer hallmarks, thus representing the expectant biological activities underlying the anti-tumor properties of this polyphenol. After a description of the synthetic procedures to prepare pure HTyr, this review takes into consideration the chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic potential of HTyr as the result of its antioxidant, antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory activities. In particular, the review is focused on the current knowledge of the main cellular and molecular mechanisms used by HTyr to affect carcinogenesis, highlighting the specific oncogenic and inflammatory signaling pathways potentially targeted by HTyr.
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Keywords: Hydroxytyrosol; anti-cancer activity; cancer; carcinogenesis; inflammation; olive mill; olive oil wastewaters; oxidation; polyphenols; proliferation; signaling; synthesis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-02-01

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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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