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Potential mechanisms of action of dietary phytochemicals for cancer prevention by targeting cellular signaling transduction pathways

March 8, 2018

Cancer is a severe health problem that significantly undermines life span and quality. Dietary approach helps provide preventive, non-toxic and economical strategies against cancer. Increased intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains are linked to reduced risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. The anti-cancer activities of plant-based foods are related to the actions of phytochemicals. One potential mechanism of action of anti-cancer phytochemicals is that they regulate cellular signal transduction pathways and hence affects cancer cell behaviors such as proliferation, apoptosis and invasion. Recent publications have reported phytochemicals to have anti-cancer activities through targeting a wide variety of cell signaling pathways at different levels, such as transcriptional or post-transcriptional regulation, protein activation and intercellular messaging. In this review, we discuss major groups of phytochemicals and their regulation on cell signaling transduction against carcinogenesis via key participators, such as Nrf2, CYP450, MAPK, Akt, JAK/STAT, Wnt/β-catenin, p53, NF-κB, and cancer-related miRNAs.

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