Next Article in Journal
Whole Genome Analysis of Cyclin Dependent Kinase (CDK) Gene Family in Cotton and Functional Evaluation of the Role of CDKF4 Gene in Drought and Salt Stress Tolerance in Plants
Next Article in Special Issue
The Cancer Prevention, Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Oxidation of Bioactive Phytochemicals Targeting the TLR4 Signaling Pathway
Previous Article in Journal
Simulations of NPC1(NTD):NPC2 Protein Complex Reveal Cholesterol Transfer Pathways
Previous Article in Special Issue
Combinational Proanthocyanidins and Resveratrol Synergistically Inhibit Human Breast Cancer Cells and Impact Epigenetic–Mediating Machinery
Article Menu
Issue 9 (September) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2624;

Beyond the Antioxidant Activity of Dietary Polyphenols in Cancer: the Modulation of Estrogen Receptors (ERs) Signaling

Department of Science, University Roma Tre, Viale Guglielmo Marconi 446, I-00146 Roma, Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 31 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effect of Dietary Factors on Cancer)
Full-Text   |   PDF [4350 KB, uploaded 5 September 2018]   |  


The potential “health benefits” of dietary polyphenols have been ascribed to their direct antioxidant activity and their impact on the regulation of cell and tissue redox balance. However, because of the relative poor bioavailability of many of these compounds, their effects could not be easily explained by the antioxidant action, which may occur only at high circulating and tissue concentrations. Therefore, many efforts have been put forward to clarify the molecular mechanisms underlining the biological effect of polyphenols in physiological and pathological conditions. Polyphenols’ bioavailability, metabolism, and their effects on enzyme, membrane, and/or nuclear receptors and intracellular transduction mechanisms may define the overall impact of these compounds on cancer risk and progression, which is still debated and not yet clarified. Polyphenols are able to bind to estrogen receptor α (ERα) and β (ERβ), and therefore induce biological effects in human cells through mimicking or inhibiting the action of endogenous estrogens, even at low concentrations. In this work, the role and effects of food-contained polyphenols in hormone-related cancers will be reviewed, mainly focusing on the different polyphenols’ mechanisms of action with particular attention on their estrogen receptor-based effects, and on the consequences of such processes on tumor progression and development. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyphenols; cancer; estrogen receptors polyphenols; cancer; estrogen receptors

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Cipolletti, M.; Solar Fernandez, V.; Montalesi, E.; Marino, M.; Fiocchetti, M. Beyond the Antioxidant Activity of Dietary Polyphenols in Cancer: the Modulation of Estrogen Receptors (ERs) Signaling. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 2624.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top