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Clin Prostate Cancer. 2005 Sep;4(2):124-9.

Molecular effects of the isoflavonoid genistein in prostate cancer.

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Department of Urology, Innsbruck Medical University, Austria.


Differences in diet have been proposed to be at least partially responsible for the low rate of prostate cancer in Asian populations compared with men in Western countries. One of the compounds that occurs in a greater quantity in the Eastern diet is genistein, an isoflavonoid found in high concentrations in serum after ingestion of soy-rich foods. Extensive molecular studies have been performed to determine its potential health benefits. The mechanism of action of genistein is complex and includes several cellular pathways. In addition to its estrogenic and/or antiestrogenic activities, genistein has been reported to inhibit steroidogenesis and block several protein tyrosine kinases, including epidermal growth factor receptor and src tyrosine kinases. Moreover, it arrests the cell cycle, induces apoptosis, and has antiangiogenic and antimetastatic properties and antioxidant activity. Herein, we review the current literature on the molecular mechanisms of genistein in relation to its effects on prostate cancer cells.

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