Carcinogenesis is a multistage process involving a number of molecular pathways sensitive to intervention. Chemoprevention is defined as the use of natural and/or synthetic substances to block, reverse, or retard the process of carcinogenesis. To achieve greater inhibitory effects on cancer cells, combination of two or more chemopreventive agents is commonly considered as a better preventive and/or therapeutic strategy. Lunasin is a promising cancer preventive peptide identified in soybean and other seeds. Its efficacy has been demonstrated by both in vitro and in vivo models. This peptide has been found to inhibit human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells proliferation, suppressing cell cycle progress and inducing cell apoptosis. Moreover, lunasin potentiates the effects on these cells of different synthetic and natural compounds, such as aspirin and anacardic acid. This study explored the role of lunasin, alone and in combination with aspirin and anacardic acid on cell proliferation and foci formation of transformed NIH/3T3 cells induced by chemical carcinogens 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene or 3-methylcholanthrene. The results revealed that lunasin, acting as a single agent, inhibits cell proliferation and foci formation. When combined with aspirin, these effects were significantly increased, indicating that this combination might be a promising strategy to prevent/treat cancer induced by chemical carcinogens.
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