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Cancer Lett. 2008 Oct 8;269(2):315-25. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.03.046. Epub 2008 May 7.

Multitargeted cancer prevention by quercetin.

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  • 1Division of Food Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.

Abstract

Quercetin is an anti-oxidative flavonoid widely distributed in the plant kingdom. Phenolic hydroxyl groups at the B-ring and the 3-position are responsible for its free radical-scavenging activity. Quercetin is commonly present as a glycoside and is converted to glucuronide/sulfate conjugates during intestinal absorption and only conjugated metabolites are therefore found in circulating blood. Although metabolic conversion attenuates its biological effects, active aglycone may be generated from the glucuronide conjugates by enhanced beta-glucuronidase activity during inflammation. With respect to its relationship with molecular targets relevant to cancer prevention, quercetin aglycone has been shown to interact with some receptors, particularly an aryl hydrocarbon receptor, which is involved in the development of cancers induced by certain chemicals. Quercetin aglycone has also been shown to modulate several signal transduction pathways involving MEK/ERK and Nrf2/keap1, which are associated with the processes of inflammation and carcinogenesis. Rodent studies have demonstrated that dietary administration of this flavonol prevents chemically induced carcinogenesis, especially in the colon, whilst epidemiological studies have indicated that an intake of quercetin may be associated with the prevention of lung cancer. Dietary quercetin is, therefore, a promising agent for cancer prevention and further research is warranted.

PMID:
18467024
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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