Epigenetic Regulation of Active Chinese Herbal Components for Cancer Prevention and Treatment: A Follow-up Review.
Pharmacol Res. 2016 Sep 30. Epub 2016 Aug 30. PMID: 27697644
Epigenetic modifications include DNA methylation, histone modification, and other patterns. These processes are associated with carcinogenesis and cancer progression. Thus, epigenetic modification-related enzymes, such as DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), histone methyltransferases (HMTs), histone demethylases (HDMTs), histone acetyltransferases (HATs), and histone deacetylases (HDACs), as well as some related proteins, including methyl-CpG binding proteins (MBPs) and DNMT1-associated protein (DMAP 1), are considered as potential targets for cancer prevention and therapy. Numerous natural compounds, mainly derived from Chinese herbs and chemically ranging from polyphenols and flavonoids to mineral salts, inhibit the growth and development of various cancers by targeting multiple genetic and epigenetic alterations. This review summarizes the epigenetic mechanisms by which active compounds from Chinese herbs exert their anti-cancer effect. A subset of these compounds, such as curcumin and resveratrol, affect multiple epigenetic processes, including DNMT inhibition, HDAC inactivation, MBP suppression, HAT activation, and microRNA modulation. Other compounds also regulate epigenetic modification processes, but the underlying mechanisms and clear targets remain unknown. Accordingly, further studies are required.