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The role of lycopene and its derivatives in the regulation of transcription systems: implications for cancer prevention1,2,3,4 *

Evidence from epidemiologic studies has suggested that carotenoids, and lycopene in particular, decrease the risk of cancer: however, not all studies support this view. To gain insight into the molecular mechanisms whereby lycopene and other carotenoids may exert their chemoprotective effects, we and others performed a series of studies that used a large panel of cancer cell lines of different lineages and animal models of human cancer. In this review we address some of the mechanisms proposed for the cancer-preventive activity of tomato lycopene, focusing on the induction of the antioxidant response element transcription system and the inhibition of the transcriptional activity of sex hormones, such as estrogens and androgens, and the activity of growth factors, such as insulin-like growth factor. We also considered the modulation by lycopene of the transcription factors peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor, retinoid X receptor, liver X receptor, and activating protein-1. The ligands and the phytonutrient regulators of these transcription systems contain electrophilic active groups, whereas lycopene and nonxanthophylic carotenoids are devoid of them. Thus, we suggest that at least some of the cellular effects of carotenoids are mediated through their derivatives formed either by chemical oxidation or by enzymatic cleavage inside the cells. This review highlights findings that pertain to this exciting avenue of research, which is currently under intense scrutiny in several laboratories worldwide.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 06-08-2013