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Anticancer Natural Compounds as Epigenetic Modulators of Gene Expression

[ Vol. 18 , Issue. 2 ]


Edward A. Ratovitski   Pages 175 - 205 ( 31 )


Accumulating evidence shows that hallmarks of cancer include: “genetic and epigenetic alterations leading to inactivation of cancer suppressors, overexpression of oncogenes, deregulation of intracellular signaling cascades, alterations of cancer cell metabolism, failure to undergo cancer cell death, induction of epithelial to mesenchymal transition, invasiveness, metastasis, deregulation of immune response and changes in cancer microenvironment, which underpin cancer development”. Natural compounds as bioactive ingredients isolated from natural sources (plants, fungi, marine life forms) have revolutionized the field of anticancer therapeutics and rapid developments in preclinical studies are encouraging. Natural compounds could affect the epigenetic molecular mechanisms that modulate gene expression, as well as DNA damage and repair mechanisms. The current review will describe the latest achievements in using naturally produced compounds targeting epigenetic regulators and modulators of gene transcription in vitro and in vivo to generate novel anticancer therapeutics.


Chromatin, DNA methylation, Epigenetics, Histone acetylation, Histone methylation, microRNA, Natural compounds, Tumorigenesis.


Head and Neck Cancer Research Division, Cancer Research Building II, 1550 Orleans Street, Baltimore, MD 21231.

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