[Frontiers in Bioscience S4, 300-320, January 1, 2012]
Operation 'p53 Hunt' to combat cancer: Theaflavins in action
Suchismita Mohanty1, Arghya Adhikary1, Samik Chakrabarty1, Gaurisankar Sa1, Tanya Das1
1Division of Molecular Medicine, Bose Institute, P1/12 CIT Scheme VIIM, Kolkata, India
TABLE OF CONTENTS
With phytochemicals executing a plethora of anti-tumor mechanisms, targeting the 'guardian angel' p53 appears to be a critical strategy to energize the process of cancer therapeutics. Regulation of anti-tumor p53 functions by dietary plant polyphenols particularly black tea and its active component theaflavins has gained immense recognition from the point of view of both efficacy and safety. This review highlights the complexities of p53 functions, molecular mechanisms of its inactivation in cancer, and therapeutic strategies for rescuing p53 dysfunction in tumors using theaflavins. It describes how theaflavins, by steering a single molecular target - p53, regulate multiple hallmarks of carcinogenesis i.e., tumor glycolysis, angiogenesis, metastasis, apoptosis and drug resistance. Additionally, considering the rising of the current concept of cancer stem cells (CSCs), the sole participant in tumor evolution, the review discusses about the possible role of theaflavin-p53 cross talk in targeting CSCs. Such attempts to target the complexities of p53 functions during neogenesis will be of immense help in developing a "new" strategy for successful cancer prevention and therapy by theaflavins.