Flavonoids Overcome Drug Resistance to Cancer Chemotherapy by Epigenetically Modulating Multiple Mechanisms
[ Vol. 21 , Issue. 4 ]
Kenneth K.W. To* and William C.S. ChoPages 289-305 (17)
Drug resistance is the major reason accounting for the treatment failure in cancer chemotherapy. Dysregulation of the epigenetic machineries is known to induce chemoresistance. It was reported that numerous genes encoding the key mediators in cancer proliferation, apoptosis, DNA repair, and drug efflux are dysregulated in resistant cancer cells by aberrant DNA methylation. The imbalance of various enzymes catalyzing histone post-translational modifications is also known to alter chromatin configuration and regulate multiple drug resistance genes. Alteration in miRNA signature in cancer cells also gives rise to chemoresistance. Flavonoids are a large group of naturally occurring polyphenolic compounds ubiquitously found in plants, fruits, vegetables and traditional herbs. There has been increasing research interest in the health-promoting effects of flavonoids. Flavonoids were shown to directly kill or re-sensitize resistant cancer cells to conventional anticancer drugs by epigenetic mechanisms. In this review, we summarize the current findings of the circumvention of drug resistance by flavonoids through correcting the aberrant epigenetic regulation of multiple resistance mechanisms. More investigations including the evaluation of synergistic anticancer activity, dosing sequence effect, toxicity in normal cells, and animal studies, are warranted to establish the full potential of the combination of flavonoids with conventional chemotherapeutic drugs in the treatment of cancer with drug resistance.
DNA methylation, epigenetic therapy, flavonoids, histone modifications, multidrug resistance, cancer chemotherapy.
School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, Department of Clinical Oncology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hong Kong SAR
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