Dietary factors in food: Induction of Nrf2-mediated defense genes in normal cells versus inhibition of cell growth genes in tumor cells

Auemduan Prawan, Ah-Ng Kong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Evolutionarily, animals have been ingesting plants. This “animal-plant” warfare has resulted in an elaborated system of detoxification and defense mechanisms evolved by animals, including humans. Animal cells respond to these dietary phytochemicals by “sensing” this chemical stress typified by “thiol modulated” cellular signaling events leading to gene expression of pharmacologically beneficial effects but sometimes also unwanted cytotoxicity. Our laboratory has been studying two groups of dietary cancer chemopreventive compounds, isothiocyanates and polyphenols, which are effective against chemical-induced, as well as genetically modified, animal carcinogenesis models [1,2]. These compounds typically generate “cellular stress” and modulate gene expression, including phase II detoxifying/antioxidant enzymes. Indeed, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) generated by electrophiles or xenobiotics including these dietary phytochemicals have been proposed as second messengers in the activation of several signaling pathways leading to gene expression responses that are necessary for cell survival and cell death.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationDietary Modulation of Cell Signaling Pathways
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780849381492
ISBN (Print)9780849381485
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine

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