Epigenetic regulation by selected dietary phytochemicals in cancer chemoprevention.
Cancer Lett. 2014 Dec 1 ;355(1):9-17. Epub 2014 Sep 16. PMID: 25236912
The growing interest in cancer epigenetics is largely due to the reversible nature of epigenetic changes which tend to alter during the course of carcinogenesis. Major epigenetic changes including DNA methylation, chromatin modifications and miRNA regulation play important roles in tumorigenic process. There are several epigenetically active synthetic molecules such as DNA methyltransferase (DNMTs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs) inhibitors, which are either approved or, are under clinical trials for the treatment of various cancers. However, most of the synthetic inhibitors have shown adverse side effects, narrow in their specificity and also expensive. Hence, bioactive phytochemicals, which are widely available with lesser toxic effects, have been tested for their role in epigenetic modulatory activities in gene regulation for cancer prevention and therapy. Encouragingly, many bioactive phytochemicals potentially altered the expression of key tumor suppressor genes, tumor promoter genes and oncogenes through modulation of DNA methylation and chromatin modification in cancer. These bioactive phytochemicals either alone or in combination with other phytochemicals showed promising results against various cancers. Here, we summarize and discuss the role of some commonly investigated phytochemicals and their epigenetic targets that are of particular interest in cancer prevention and cancer therapy.