Targeting specific cell signaling transduction pathways by dietary and medicinal phytochemicals in cancer chemoprevention
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29 August 2022
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Natural phytochemicals derived from dietary sources or medicinal plants have gained significant recognition in the potential management of several human clinical conditions. Much research has also been geared towards the evaluation of plant extracts as effective prophylactic agents since they can act on specific and/or multiple molecular and cellular targets. Plants have been an abundant source of highly effective phytochemicals which offer great potential in the fight against cancer by inhibiting the process of carcinogenesis through the upregulation of cytoprotective genes that encode for carcinogen detoxifying enzymes and antioxidant enzymes. The mechanistic insight into chemoprevention further includes induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis or inhibition of signal transduction pathways mainly the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), protein kinases C (PKC), phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), glycogen synthase kinase (GSK) which lead to abnormal cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), activator protein-1 (AP-1), nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) and c-myc expression. Effectiveness of chemopreventive agents reflects their ability to counteract certain upstream signals that leads to genotoxic damage, redox imbalances and other forms of cellular stress. Targeting malfunctioning molecules along the disrupted signal transduction pathway in cancer represent a rational strategy in chemoprevention. NF-κB and AP-1 provide mechanistic links between inflammation and cancer, and moreover regulate tumor angiogenesis and invasiveness, indicating that signaling pathways that mediate their activation provide attractive targets for new chemotherapeutic approaches. Thus cell signaling cascades and their interacting factors have become important targets of chemoprevention and phenolic phytochemicals and plant extracts seem to be promising in this endeavor.