Flavonoids: antioxidants or signalling molecules?
Williams, R.J., Spencer, J.P.E. and Rice-Evans, C. (2004) Flavonoids: antioxidants or signalling molecules? Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 36 (7). pp. 838-849. ISSN 0891-5849
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2004.01.001
Many studies are accumulating that report the neuroprotective, cardioprotective, and chemopreventive actions of dietary flavonoids. While there has been a major focus on the antioxidant properties, there is an emerging view that flavonoids, and their in vivo metabolites, do not act as conventional hydrogen-donating antioxidants but may exert modulatory actions in cells through actions at protein kinase and lipid kinase signalling pathways. Flavonoids, and more recently their metabolites, have been reported to act at phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase), Akt/protein kinase B (Akt/PKB), tyrosine kinases, protein kinase C (PKC), and mitogen activated protein kinase (MAP kinase) signalling cascades. Inhibitory or stimulatory actions at these pathways are likely to affect cellular function profoundly by altering the phosphorylation state of target molecules and by modulating gene expression. A clear understanding of the mechanisms of action of flavonoids, either as antioxidants or modulators of cell signalling, and the influence of their metabolism on these properties are key to the evaluation of these potent biomolecules as anticancer agents, cardioprotectants, and inhibitors of neurodegeneration (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.