Epigenetic mechanisms in anti-cancer actions of bioactive food components-the implications in cancer prevention.

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Nov 7, 2013 (4 years and 8 months ago)


Mecanismos epigenéticos das ações anticâncer de alimentos

Epigenetic mechanisms in anti
actions of bioactive food components
implications in cancer prevention.

Stefanska B
Karlic H
Varga F
Majewska K
Haslberger AG

Br J Pharmacol.

2012 Apr 27. doi: 10.1111/j.1476
5381.2012.02002.x. [Epub ahead of


Department of Biomedical Chemistry, Medical University of Lodz, 6/8 Mazowiecka
Street, 92
215 Lodz, Poland Department of Pharmacology and T
herapeutics, McGill
University, McIntyre Medical Sciences Building, 3655 Sir William Osler Promenade,
Montreal, QC, H3G 1Y6 Canada Ludwig Boltzmann Cluster Oncology and Institute for
Leukemia Research and Hematology, Hanusch Hospital, Heinrich Collin Str.
30, A
1140 Vienna, Austria Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Osteology at the Hanusch Hospital
of WGKK and AUVA Trauma Centre Meidling and 1st Medical Department, Hanusch
Hospital, Heinrich Collin Str. 30, A
1140 Vienna, Austria Department of Nutritional
ces, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 2, A
1090 Vienna, Austria.


The hallmarks of carcinogenesis are aberrations in gene expression and protein function
caused by both genetic and epigenetic modifications. Epigenetics refers to the changes
in g
ene expression programming that alter the phenotype in absence of a change in
DNA sequence. Epigenetic modifications, which include amongst others DNA
methylation, covalent modifications of histone tails, and regulation by non
RNAs, play a significa
nt role in normal development and genome stability. The changes
are dynamic and serve as an adaptation mechanism to a wide variety of environmental
and social factors including diet. A number of studies provide evidence that some
natural bioactive compound
s found in food and herbs can modulate gene expression by
targeting different elements of the epigenetic machinery.

Nutrients that are components of one carbon metabolism such
as folate
, riboflavin,
pyridoxine, cobalamin, choline, betaine, and methionine, affect DNA methylation

by regulating levels of S
methionine, a methyl group donor, and S
homocysteine which is an inhibitor of enzymes catalyzing the DNA
on reaction.

Other natural compounds target histone modifications and levels of non
coding RNAs
such as
vitamin D

that recruits histone acetylases

that activates the
deacetylase sirtuin and regulates oncogenic and tumour suppressor micro
RNAs. Since
epigenetic abnormalities have been shown to be both causative and contributing factors
in different health conditions including cancer, na
tural compounds that are direct or
indirect regulators of the epigenome constitute an excellent approach in cancer
prevention and potentially in anti
cancer therapy. © 2012 The Authors. British Journal
of Pharmacology © 2012 The British Pharmacological Soc

© 2012 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology © 2012 The British
Pharmacological Society.