Molecular targets of cancer chemoprevention by garlic-derived organosulfides1

Authors

  • Anna HERMAN-ANTOSIEWICZ,

    1. Department of Molecular Biology, University of Gdańsk, Kladki 24, 80-822 Gdańsk, Poland
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    • 2

      Equal contribution.

  • Anna A POWOLNY,

    1. Department of Pharmacology and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA
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    • 2

      Equal contribution.

  • Shivendra V SINGH

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pharmacology and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA
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  • 1

    Studies from our laboratory cited in this review were supported by United States Public Health Service grants CA555 89 and CA113363, awarded by the National Cancer Institute.

5 Correspondence to Prof Shivendra V SINGH. Phn 1-412-623-3263. Fax 1-412-623-7828. E-mail: singhs@upmc.edu

Abstract

The medicinal benefits of Allium vegetables, especially garlic, have been noted throughout recorded history. The known health benefits of Allium vegetables and their constituents include cardiovascular protective effects, stimulation of immune function, reduction of blood glucose level, radioprotection, improvement of memory loss, protection against microbial, viral and fungal infections, as well as anticancer effects. Population-based case control studies have suggested an inverse correlation between dietary intake of Allium vegetables and the risk of different types of cancers. The anticarcinogenic effect of Allium vegetables including garlic is attributed to organosulfur compounds (OSC), which are highly effective in affording protection against cancer in animal models induced by a variety of chemical carcinogens. More recent studies have shown that certain naturally occurring OSC analogues can suppress proliferation of cancer cells in culture and in vivo. The OSC-induced changes in the proliferation of cancer cells are frequently associated with perturbations in cell cycle progression and induction of G2/M phase arrest. The OSC have also been demonstrated to induce apoptosis via the intrinsic pathway by altering the ratio of the Bcl-2 family of proteins both in cell culture and in in vivo models. Anti-angiogenic activity for garlic-derived OSC has also been documented. This article summarizes current knowledge on molecular targets of cancer chemoprevention by OSC.

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