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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2013 Feb;24(1 Suppl):36-46. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2013.0036.

Phytoalexins, miRNAs and breast cancer: a review of phytochemical-mediated miRNA regulation in breast cancer.

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Division of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA 70125, USA.


There is growing interest in the diverse signaling pathways that regulate and affect breast tumorigenesis, including the role of phytochemicals and the emerging role of microRNAs (miRNAs). Recent studies demonstrate that miRNAs regulate fundamental cellular and developmental processes at the transcriptional and translational level under normal and disease conditions. While there is growing evidence to support the role of phytoalexin-mediated miRNA regulation of cancer, few reports address this role in breast cancer. Recent reports by our group and others demonstrate that natural products, including stilbenes, curcumin, and glyceollins, could alter the expression of specific miRNAs, which may lead to increased sensitivity of cancer cells to conventional anti-cancer agents and, therefore, hormone-dependent and hormone-independent tumor growth inhibition. This review will discuss how dietary intake of natural products, by regulating specific miRNAs, contribute to the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

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