Int J Med Sci 2016; 13(5):374-385. doi:10.7150/ijms.14485
An Association Map on the Effect of Flavonoids on the Signaling Pathways in Colorectal Cancer
Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Koosha S, Alshawsh MA, Looi CY, Seyedan A, Mohamed Z. An Association Map on the Effect of Flavonoids on the Signaling Pathways in Colorectal Cancer. Int J Med Sci 2016; 13(5):374-385. doi:10.7150/ijms.14485. Available from http://www.medsci.org/v13p0374.htm
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common type of cancer in the world, causing thousands of deaths annually. Although chemotherapy is known to be an effective treatment to combat colon cancer, it produces severe side effects. Natural products, on the other hand, appear to generate fewer side effects than do chemotherapeutic drugs. Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds found in various fruits and vegetables known to possess antioxidant activities, and the literature shows that several of these flavonoids have anti-CRC propertiesFlavonoids are classified into five main subclasses: flavonols, flavanones, flavones, flavan-3-ols, and flavanonols. Of these subclasses, the flavanonols have a minimum effect against CRC, whereas the flavones play an important role. The main targets for the inhibitory effect of flavonoids on CRC signaling pathways are caspase; nuclear factor kappa B; mitogen-activated protein kinase/p38; matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, MMP-7, and MMP-9; p53; β-catenin; cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)2 and CDK4; and cyclins A, B, D, and E.
In this review article, we summarize the in vitro and in vivo studies that have been performed since 2000 on the anti-CRC properties of flavonoids. We also describe the signaling pathways affected by flavonoids that have been found to be involved in CRC. Some flavonoids have the potential to be an effective alternative to chemotherapeutic drugs in the treatment of colon cancer; well-controlled clinical studies should, however, be conducted to support this proposal.
Keywords: Colon cancer, Anti-colorectal cancer, Flavonoids, Signaling pathways.