Diet, Autophagy, and Cancer: A Review

Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention (Impact Factor: 4.13). 07/2008; 17(7):1596-610. DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-07-2917
Source: PubMed


A host of dietary factors can influence various cellular processes and thereby potentially influence overall cancer risk and tumor behavior. In many cases, these factors suppress cancer by stimulating programmed cell death. However, death not only can follow the well-characterized type I apoptotic pathway but also can proceed by nonapoptotic modes such as type II (macroautophagy-related) and type III (necrosis) or combinations thereof. In contrast to apoptosis, the induction of macroautophagy may contribute to either the survival or death of cells in response to a stressor. This review highlights current knowledge and gaps in our understanding of the interactions among bioactive food constituents, autophagy, and cancer. Whereas a variety of food components including vitamin D, selenium, curcumin, resveratrol, and genistein have been shown to stimulate autophagy vacuolization, it is often difficult to determine if this is a protumorigenic or antitumorigenic response. Additional studies are needed to examine dose and duration of exposures and tissue specificity in response to bioactive food components in transgenic and knockout models to resolve the physiologic implications of early changes in the autophagy process.

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    • "All TLRs express the N-terminal ectodomain that contains leucine rich repeats (LRRs) involved in ligand recognition and co-receptor interaction. They also express a transmembrane region and an intracellular region containing a Toll/IL1R resistance (TIR) signaling domain (Singletary and Milner, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: There are millions of microbes that live in the human gut. These are important in digestion as well as defense. The host immune system needs to be able to distinguish between the harmless bacteria and pathogens. The initial interaction between bacteria and the host happen through the pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). As these receptors are in direct contact with the external environment, this makes them important candidates for regulation by dietary components and therefore potential targets for therapy. In this review, we introduce some of the main PRRs including a cellular process known as autophagy, and how they function. Additionally we review dietary phytochemicals from plants which are believed to be beneficial for humans. The purpose of this review was to give a better understanding of how these components work in order to create better awareness on how they could be explored in the future.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Frontiers in Genetics
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    • "Several studies have reported that quercetin has the ability to trigger autophagy in cancer cells [37] [43]. Paradoxically, our morphological analysis revealed that the flavonoid was a weak autophagy inducer in the T98G cells. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: High expression of HSP27 and HSP72 in glioma cells has been closely associated with chemoresistance and decreased sensitivity to programmed cell death induction. Therefore, it is important to devise therapies that effectively target invasive cancer cells by inducing cell death. The aim of our study was to assess the effect of quercetin and imperatorin applied separately and in combinations on the apoptosis and autophagy induction in human T98G cells cultured in vitro. Methods: Cell death induction was analyzed by the staining method. The Western blotting technique and fluorimetric measurements of activity were used to assess the expression of marker proteins of apoptosis and autophagy. The specific siRNA transfected method was used for blocking of the expression of HSP27 and HSP72 genes. Results: The experiments revealed the highest percentage of apoptotic cells after using a 50?M concentration of both compounds. Simultaneous quercetin and imperatorin administration induced apoptosis more effectively than incubation with single drugs. These results were accompanied with decreased HSP27 and HSP72 expression, and a high level of caspase-3 and caspase-9 activity. Autophagy was not observed. Additional experiments were performed on a cell line with blocked Hsp27 and Hsp72 expression and significant increase the sensitivity to apoptosis induction upon quercetin and imperatorin treatment was noticed. Conclusions: The present study indicates that quercetin and imperatorin are potent apoptosis inducers, especially when they act synergistically, which may be a promising combination useful in glioma therapy. Our results also demonstrated that blocking the HSP27 and HSP72 gene expression might serve as a therapeutic target for the human brain cancer.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Pharmacological reports: PR
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    • "Autophagy is known as an intracellular system of degradation of cytoplasm components in particular long-half-life proteins through lysosomal enzymes. The outcome of autophagy is always the same—total and irreversible dismantling of macromolecular substrates to their basic components [6–9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of quercetin and imperatorin administered separately and in combination on apoptosis and autophagy induction in human cervical carcinoma HeLa cells and laryngeal carcinoma Hep-2 cells cultured in vitro. Conducted MTT measurements proved that quercetin and imperatorin displayed a strong antiproliferative activity manifested in markedly reduction of HeLa and Hep-2 cells viability as a result of treatment with 50 μM of each compound. Further cell staining assays revealed that concentration mentioned above generated the highest percentage of apoptotic cells especially in the case of application of both drugs for 48 h. Simultaneous quercetin and imperatorin administration induced apoptosis remarkably stronger than treatment with single drugs. Experiments at the molecular level confirmed these results accompanied with the decreased Hsp27 and Hsp72 expression and, in addition, with increased caspases activity. Autophagy was not observed and no significant changes in the expression of beclin-1 were noticed. Additionally, experiments were performed on the above-mentioned cell lines with blocked Hsp27 and Hsp72 expression. In these cells, no significant changes in the sensitivity to apoptosis induction upon quercetin and imperatorin treatment were observed. The present study has provided evidence supporting the potential of the combination of quercetin and imperatorin drugs as a novel tool to be used in anticancer therapy. Our results have also demonstrated that blocking of the Hsp27 and Hsp72 gene expression is not enough to sensitize cancer cells to programmed cell death induction in HeLa and Hep-2 cells.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
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