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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Part of the Series: From dietary antioxidants to regulators in cellular signaling and gene regulation.

The association of decreased cancer risk with intake of cruciferous vegetables and selenium is stronger than that reported for fruits and vegetables in general. An active constituent in cruciferae is sulforaphane. Chemopreventive effects of both, sulforaphane and selenium have been attributed to an antioxidant action which certainly is too simplicistic. Sulforaphane induces via activation of the Nrf2/Keap1 system phase 2 enzymes that protect against carcinogens and oxidants. Induced enzymes comprise the selenoproteins thioredoxin reductase-1 (TrxR1) and gastrointestinal glutathione peroxidase (GI-GPx, GPx2), which contain antioxidant response elements (ARE) in their promoter regions. Translational realisation of the enhanced transcripts depends on adequate selenium supply, which explains the synergism of Nrf2 activators and selenium. Regarding tumorigenesis the role of TrxR1 is ambiguous: it is essential for fast tumor cell growth but also diminishes vascularisation of tumors. The anticarcinogenic role of GI-GPx is evident from enhanced gastrointestinal tumor formation in gpx2/gpx1 double KO mice.[1]


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