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Prenylated chalcones and flavonoids for the prevention and treatment of cancer

Venturelli, Sascha, Burkard, Markus, Biendl, Martin, Lauer, Ulrich M., Frank, Jan, Busch, Christian
Nutrition 2016 v.32 no.11-12 pp. 1171-1178
anti-inflammatory activity, antioxidant activity, bioavailability, carcinogens, chalcones, enzymes, mechanism of action, metabolism, neoplasm cells, neoplasms, nutrition, therapeutics, tissues, toxicity
Prenylated chalcones and flavonoids gained increasing attention not only in nutrition but also in cancer prevention because of their biological and molecular activities in humans, which have been extensively investigated in vitro or in preclinical studies. These naturally occurring compounds exhibit antioxidant effects, modulate metabolism of carcinogens by inhibition of distinct phase 1 metabolic enzymes and activation of phase 2 detoxifying enzymes, and display antiinflammatory properties. In particular, their potential to prevent proliferation of tumor cells is noteworthy. Some representatives of this subclass of secondary plant compounds exert pronounced anti–tumor-initiating capacities and directly inhibit growth of cancer cells, whereas their toxic effects on healthy tissues are remarkably low. These promising pharmacologic characteristics are countered by low ingestion, low bioavailability, and little knowledge of their metabolism. This review focuses on the great potential of these plant- and nutrient-derived compounds for cancer prevention and therapy. Provided here is a comprehensive summary of the current knowledge and inherent modes of action, focusing on the prenylated chalcones xanthohumol, desmethylxanthohumol, and xanthogalenol, as well as the prenylated flavonoids isoxanthohumol, 6-prenylnaringenin, 8-prenylnaringenin, 6-geranylnaringenin, 8-geranylnaringenin, and pomiferin.