Modulation of signal-transduction pathways by chemopreventive agents
Sommaire de l'article
For a disease such as cancer, where a number of alterations to normal cell function accumulate over time, there are several opportunities to inhibit, slow down or even reverse the process. Many of the changes which drive the disease process occur in cell-signalling pathways that regulate proliferation and apoptosis. As our knowledge of these complicated signalling networks improves, it is becoming clear that many molecules, both drugs and naturally occurring dietary constituents, can interact beneficially with deregulated pathways. Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as natural compounds present in plants such as green vegetables and tea, can modulate signalling by affecting kinase activity and therefore phosphorylation of key molecules. Examples of pathways which can be modulated by these agents include activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B by tumour promoters or cytokines, signalling by growth factors through the growth-factor receptor / extracellular-regulated protein kinase pathways and by a number of other molecules through the stress-activated c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38 pathways. These mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways regulate a number of transcription factors including c-Fos and c-Jun. Evidence exists, at least from in vitro experiments, that by targeting such pathways, certain dietary compounds may be able to restore abnormal rates of apoptosis and proliferation to more normal levels.