Next Article in Journal
PI Polynomial of V-Phenylenic Nanotubes and Nanotori
Next Article in Special Issue
Dietary Berries and Ellagic Acid Prevent Oxidative DNA Damage and Modulate Expression of DNA Repair Genes
Previous Article in Journal
Biochemical Characterization of the Tetrachlorobenzoquinone Reductase Involved in the Biodegradation of Pentachlorophenol
Previous Article in Special Issue
Dietary Flavonoids Sensitize HeLa Cells to Tumor Necrosis Factor-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand (TRAIL)
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9(3), 213-228;

Modulatory Effects of Polyphenols on Apoptosis Induction: Relevance for Cancer Prevention

National Centre for Food Quality and Risk Assessment, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 August 2007 / Revised: 30 November 2007 / Accepted: 23 January 2008 / Published: 28 February 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds for Cancer Treatment and Prevention)
Full-Text   |   PDF [425 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]   |  


Polyphenols, occurring in fruit and vegetables, wine, tea, extra virgin olive oil, chocolate and other cocoa products, have been demonstrated to have clear antioxidant properties in vitro, and many of their biological actions have been attributed to their intrinsic reducing capabilities. However, it has become clear that, in complex biological systems, polyphenols exhibit several additional properties which are yet poorly understood. Apoptosis is a genetically controlled and evolutionarily conserved form of cell death of critical importance for the normal embryonic development and for the maintenance of tissue homeostasis in the adult organism. The malfunction of the death machinery may play a primary role in various pathological processes, since too little or too much apoptosis can lead to proliferative or degenerative diseases, respectively. Cancer cells are characterized by a deregulated proliferation, and/or an inability to undergo programmed cell death. A large body of evidence indicates that polyphenols can exert chemopreventive effects towards different organ specific cancers, affecting the overall process of carcinogenesis by several mechanisms: inhibition of DNA synthesis, modulation of ROS production, regulation of cell cycle arrest, modulation of survival/proliferation pathways. In addition, polyphenols can directly influence different points of the apoptotic process, and/or the expression of Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9 214 regulatory proteins. Although the bulk of data has been obtained in in vitro systems, a number of clinical studies suggesting a preventive and therapeutic effectiveness of polyphenols in vivo is available. However, a deeper knowledge of the underlying mechanisms responsible for the modulation of apoptosis by polyphenols, and their real effectiveness, is necessary in order to propose them as potential chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic candidates for cancer treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyphenols; carcinogenesis; apoptosis. polyphenols; carcinogenesis; apoptosis.

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

D’Archivio, M.; Santangelo, C.; Scazzocchio, B.; Varì, R.; Filesi, C.; Masella, R.; Giovannini, C. Modulatory Effects of Polyphenols on Apoptosis Induction: Relevance for Cancer Prevention. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9, 213-228.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

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