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Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Axis: A Potential Target to Inhibit Tumor Angiogenesis by Dietary Agents

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Human solid tumors remain latent in the absence of angiogenesis since it is a critical process for their further growth and progression. Experimental evidence suggests that targeting tumor angiogenesis may be a novel strategy to check tumor growth and metastases. Recent studies suggest that several bioactive food components can suppress tumor growth by inhibiting angiogenesis. This suppression occurs because of a direct effect on the tumor, as well as a direct effect on vascular endothelial cells. These food components can target epigenetic processes and thereby suppress the pro-angiogenic tumor microenvironment. One likely epigenetic target is inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). iNOS is known to regulate vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression, and thereby tumor angiogenesis. The ability of food components to influence the inducible form of cyclooxygenase, COX-2 may also contribute to their impact on tumor growth and angiogenesis. This review focuses on recent developments related to the angiogenic role of the iNOSVEGF axis and how dietary components may target this axis. Overall, studies suggest that the anti-angiogenic potential of physiologically concentrations of relevant food components could be used as a practical approach for cancer prevention and intervention.

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Keywords: Angiogenesis; bioactive food components; inducible nitric oxide synthase; vascular endothelial growth factor

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2007

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  • Current Cancer Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular drug targets involved in cancer, e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes.
    Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in cancer.
    As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for anti-cancer drug discovery continues to grow; this journal has become essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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