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Direct Research Journals
Vol.2 (1), pp. 6-9, February 2014
ISSN: 2449-0814

Molecular mechanism of the effects of quercetin on human breast cancer cells
Article Number: DRJA17088207

Original Research Article

Masuku Sakhile K.S.1*, Owaga Eddy E.3, Gadaga Tendekayi H.2, Simatende Protus 2 and

Dlamini SabeloV.2

1University of Swaziland, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department Community Health Nursing, Swaziland.

2University of Swaziland, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department Environmental Health, Swaziland.

3Taipei Medical University, College of Public Health, School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Taiwan.

date Received: January 7, 2014     date Accepted: February 5, 2014     date Published: February 28, 2014


The formation of breast cancer is a multi-step process which involves initiation, promotion and progression. Genetic mutations that control cell growth and division or the repair of damaged deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) result in uncontrolled growth and division of the cells to form a tumor. This process is termed proliferation and it is regulated by cyclin dependent kinase (CDK 2), cyclin A and B, p53 and p57. Thereafter, angiogenesis enhances progression of the cancer cell. The process of angiogenesis is regulated by the vascular endothelium growth factor (VEGF), hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1) and activation protein (AP-1). The major treatment methods for breast cancer are chemotherapy, radiation therapy, gene therapy and biologic therapy; however, success rates are low. This has led to further investigations into other agents with a potential of acting on novel targets in breast cancer. Dietary polyphenols have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing cancer. Quercetin is a potential anti-cancer flavonoid molecule and is ubiquitous in nature. The suggested mechanisms for the chemoprevention action of quercetin include the capability to suppress cell proliferation and angiogenesis in breast cancer cells. In this review, we summarize the recent uncovered molecular mechanisms of quercetin on MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines biomarkers and molecular mechanism by which quercetin exhibits chemo preventive and chemotherapeutic effects have been discussed.


Key words: Quercetin, breast cancer cell lines, angiogenesis, cell cycle.