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Genetic and epigenetic regulations of prostate cancer by genistein.

PMID 19609462


The regulatory mechanisms governing the expression of specific genes associated with prostate cancer cannot all be explained by monitoring DNA sequences and potential mutations. This suggests the involvement of additional modes of regulating gene expression, such as epigenetics. The contribution of epigenetic events, although fully recognized, remains to be fully understood. There is increasing evidence for the regulatory roles of both DNA methylation and the composition and conformation of chromatin. These epigenetic changes can be modulated by molecules that are part of our daily diet. Genistein, an isoflavonoid present in soy products, has been shown to have anticancer effects. Epidemiological studies have indicated a link between a low occurrence of prostate cancer and a genistein-rich diet. This review summarizes the current knowledge about genistein-modulated genetic and epigenetic effects on both the gene expression and biological pathways associated with prostate cancer.