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Scientia Pharmaceutica is published by MDPI from Volume 84 Issue 3 (2016). Articles in this Issue were published by another publisher in Open Access under a CC-BY (or CC-BY-NC-ND) licence. Articles are hosted by MDPI on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Austrian Pharmaceutical Society (Österreichische Pharmazeutische Gesellschaft, ÖPhG).
Open AccessReview
Sci. Pharm. 2011, 79(1), 1-20;

Phytoestrogen Biological Actions on Mammalian Reproductive System and Cancer Growth

1 and 2,*
Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Gendron Hall, 30 Marie Curie, K1N 6N5, Ottawa, ON, Canada
School of Pharmacy, Fudan University, 826 Zhangheng Road, 201203, Pudong, Shanghai, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 July 2010 / Accepted: 31 December 2010 / Published: 31 December 2010
PDF [450 KB, uploaded 26 September 2016]


Phytoestrogens are a family of diverse polyphenolic compounds derived from nature plant that structurally or functionally mimic circulating estrogen in the mammalian reproductive system. They induce estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects in the brain-pituitary-gonad axis (a principal endocrine system involving in reproductive regulation) and peripheral reproductive organs. The dichotomy of phytoestrogen-mediated actions elucidates that they play the biological activities via complex mechanisms and belong to various chemical classes. In comparison with their unobvious physiological functions in normal reproductive tissues, there are increasing investigations showing that phytoestrogen induces significant inhibitory effects on the growth of breast and ovarian cancers through different signaling pathways. This review summarized the results of the previous studies regarding principal signaling transductions for mediating the growth of the ovarian and breast cancers. Phytoestrogen potentially modulates the signaling molecules via: (1) blocking the nuclear and membrane estrogen receptors (ER), (2) interfering with the growth factor receptor, (3) inhibiting the G protein-coupled receptor in ER-deficient cells, (4) activating apoptosis and nullifying anti-apoptotic signals.
Keywords: Phytoestrogen; Estrogen Receptor; Breast Cancer; Ovarian Cancer Phytoestrogen; Estrogen Receptor; Breast Cancer; Ovarian Cancer
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).

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ZHAO, E.; MU, Q. Phytoestrogen Biological Actions on Mammalian Reproductive System and Cancer Growth. Sci. Pharm. 2011, 79, 1-20.

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