Department of Chemistry, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, P. R. China
Abstract: Conventional cancer therapies, the second leading cause of death worldwide, result in serious side effects and, at best, merely extend the patient's lifespan by a few years. Searching for effective prevention is of high priority in both basic and clinical sciences. In recent decades natural products have been considered to be an important source of cancer chemopreventive agents. Red wine polyphenols, which consisted of various powerful antioxidants such as flavonoids and stilbenes, have been implicated in cancer prevention and that promote human health without recognizable side effects. Since resveratrol, a major component of red wine polyphenols, has been studied and reviewed extensively for its chemopreventive activity to interfere with the multi-stage carcinogenesis, this review focuses on recent progress in studies on cancer chemopreventive activities of red wine polyphenol extracts and fractions as well as other red wine polyphenols, like procyanidin B5 analogues and myricetin.
Conclusions Chemoprevention in combination with anticancer treatment represents an important approach to reduce morbidity and mortality from cancer. Red wines contain a large array of polyphenolic constituents that have been shown to block carcinogenesis and to inhibit the growth of tumors in whole animals, or in cell culture by altering the activity of certain enzymes or the expression of specific genes. Red wine polyphenol extracts and fractions were reported to delay tumor onset in transgenic mice, inhibit azoxymethane (AOM) induced intestinal carcinogenesis by modulation of gene expression, inhibit epidermal growth factor induced the proliferation of transformed colon epithelial cells by modulation of activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases and show selective cytotoxicity against MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Supported by above exciting evidence, further investigation on cancer chemopreventive activities of red wine polyphenol extracts and fractions are strongly recommended.Red wine polyphenols were found to be potent aromatase inhibitors, indicating potential treatment of breast cancer, since aromatase plays an important role in the carcinogenesis of breast cancer. The previous hypothesis that red wine had stronger anti-cancer activities than white wine was confirmed by the difference in inhibition of aromatase activity. An extensive study revealed that the procyanidin B dimers were identified to be the active principles. Further in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that procyanidin B dimers in red wine and grape seeds were potential chemopreventive agents against breast cancer by suppressing in situ estrogen biosynthesis.Recent findings have demonstrated potent anticancer-promoting activity for myricetin, which mainly targeted MEK signaling and inhibited COX-2 expression by blocking the activation of NF-κB.Although resveratrol was believed to be a promising cancer chemopreventive agent from red wine, the search for other novel cancer chemopreventive polyphenols, like myricetin, is also of significance