Phytochemical Glyceollins, Isolated from Soy, Mediate Antihormonal Effects through Estrogen Receptor α and 1
The flavonoid family of phytochemicals, particularly those derived from soy, has received attention regarding their estrogenic activity as well as their effects on human health and disease. In addition to these flavonoids other phytochemicals, including phytostilbene, enterolactone, and lignans, possess endocrine activity. The types and amounts of these compounds in soy and other plants are controlled by both constitutive expression and stress-induced biosynthesis. The health benefits of soy-based foods may, therefore, be dependent upon the amounts of the various hormonally active phytochemicals within these foods. The aim was to identify unique soy phytochemicals that had not been previously assessed for estrogenic or antiestrogenic activity. Here we describe increased biosynthesis of the isoflavonoid phytoalexin compounds, glyceollins, in soy plants grown under stressed conditions. In contrast to the observed estrogenic effects of coumestrol, daidzein, and genistein, we observed a marked antiestrogenic effect of glyceollins on ER signaling, which correlated with a comparable suppression of 17-estradiol-induced proliferation in MCF-7 cells. Further evaluation revealed greater antagonism toward ERα than ER in transiently transfected HEK 293 cells. Competition binding assays revealed a greater affinity of glyceollins for ERα vs. ER, which correlated to greater suppression of ERα signaling with higher concentrations of glyceollins. In conclusion, we describe the phytoalexin compounds known as glyceollins, which exhibit unique antagonistic effects on ER in both HEK 293 and MCF-7 cells. The glyceollins as well as other phytoalexin compounds may represent an important component of the health effects of soy-based foods. Burow ME, Boue SM, Collins-Burow BM, et al. 2001 The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Vol. 86, No. 4, Pp.1750-8 doi:10.1210/jc.86.4.1750

Molecular effects of soy phytoalexin glyceollins in human prostate cancer cells LNCaP
Glyceollins are soy-derived phytoalexins that have been proposed to be candidate cancer preventive compounds. The effect of the glyceollins on prostate cancer is unknown. The present study examined the molecular effects of soy phytoalexin, glyceollins, on human prostate cancer cell LNCaP to further elucidate its potential effects on prostate cancer prevention. We found that the glyceollins inhibited LNCaP cell growth similar to that of the soy isoflavone genistein. The growth inhibitory effects of the glyceollins appeared to be due to an inhibition of G1/S progression and correlated with an up-regulation of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 A and B mRNA and protein levels. By contrast, genistein only up-regulates cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A. In addition, glyceollin treatments led to down-regulated mRNA levels for androgen responsive genes. In contrast to genistein, this effect of glyceollins on androgen responsive genes appeared to be mediated through modulation of an estrogen- but not androgen-mediated pathway. Hence, the glyceollins exerted multiple effects on LNCaP cells that may be considered cancer preventive and the mechanisms of action appeared to be different from other soy-derived phytochemicals. Payton-Stewart F, Schoene NW, Kim YS, et al. Molecular Carcinogenesis. 2009 Volume 48, Issue 9, Pp.86271, DOI: 10.1002/mc.20532

Antiestrogenic glyceollins suppress human breast and ovarian carcinoma tumorigenesis.

PURPOSE: We have identified the phytoalexin compounds glyceollins I, II, and III, which exhibit marked antiestrogenic effects on estrogen receptor function and estrogen-dependent tumor growth in vivo. The purpose of this study was to investigate the interactions among the induced soy phytoalexins glyceollins I, II, and III on the growth of estrogen-dependent MCF-7 breast cancer and BG-1 ovarian cancer cells implanted in ovariectomized athymic mice. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Four treatment groups for each cell line were used: vehicle control, 20 mg/kg/mouse/d glyceollin mixture injection, 0.72 mg estradiol (E2) implant, and E2 implant + 20 mg/kg/mouse/d glyceollin injection. RESULTS: Treatment with glyceollin suppressed E2-stimulated tumor growth of MCF-7 cells (-53.4%) and BG-1 cells (-73.1%) in ovariectomized athymic mice. These tumor-inhibiting effects corresponded with significantly lower E2-induced progesterone receptor expression in the tumors. In contrast to tamoxifen, the glyceollins had no estrogen-agonist effects on uterine morphology and partially antagonized the uterotropic effects of estrogen. CONCLUSIONS: These findings identify glyceollins as antiestrogenic agents that may be useful in the prevention or treatment of breast and ovarian carcinoma. Salvo VA, Bou SM, Fonseca JP, Elliott S, Corbitt C, et al. Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Dec 1;12(23):7159-64.

Effects of Soybean Glyceollins and Estradiol in Postmenopausal Female Monkeys

Glyceollins are a novel class of soybean phytoalexins with potential cancer-protective antiestrogenic effects. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the estrogen-antagonist effects of glyceollin-enriched soy protein on biomarkers for breast cancer risk. Thirty female postmenopausal cynomolgus macaques were randomized to one of three dietary treatments for 3 wk: 1) estradiol (E2, 1 mg/day) + casein/lactalbumin (control); 2) E2 + soy protein isolate (SPI) containing 194 mg/day isoflavonoids; and 3) E2 + glyceollin-enriched soy protein (GLY) containing 189 mg/ day isoflavonoids + 134 mg/day glyceollins. Doses are expressed in calorically scaled human equivalents. Mean serum glyceollin concentrations at 4 h postfeeding were 134.2 34.6 nmol/L in the GLY group and negligible in the SPI group (P = 0.0007). Breast proliferation was significantly increased in the control group (+237%, P = 0.01) but not in the SPI group (+198%, P = 0.08) or GLY group (+36%, P = 0.18). Gene expression of trefoil factor 1 and progesterone receptor, two markers of estrogen receptor activity in breast epithelium, were also significantly higher in the control (P < 0.05 for both) but not in the GLY group. These preliminary findings suggest that soybean glyceollins are natural compounds with potential estrogen-modulating properties in the breast. Wood CE, Clarkson TB, Appt SE, et al. NUTRITION AND CANCER, Vol 56, No.1 Pp. 7481

Glyceollins, a Novel Class of Antiestrogenic Phytoalexins

Glyceollins, a group of novel phytoalexins isolated from activated soy, have demonstrated unique in vitro and in vivo antiestrogenic activity. The soybean plant under stress produces a mixture of glyceollins I, II, and III that bind to the estrogen receptor (ER) and inhibit estrogen-induced tumor progression. In further in vitro studies, the glyceollin mixture exhibits potential antiestrogenic, therapeutic activity preventing estrogen-stimulated tumorigenesis and displaying a differential pattern of gene expression from tamoxifen. By isolating the individual glyceollin isomers, we identified the active antiestrogenic component using competition binding assays with human ERα and estrogen-responsive element-based luciferase reporter assays. We identified glyceollin I as the active antiestrogenic component of the mixture. Ligand-receptor modeling (docking) of the isomers within the ERα ligand binding cavity demonstrated a unique type II antiestrogenic confirmation adopted by glyceollin I, but not isomers II and III. Glyceollin I treatment in 17β- estradiol-stimulated MCF-7 breast cancer cells and BG-1 ovarian cancer cells resulted in a novel inhibition of ER-mediated gene expression and cell proliferation/ survival. Glyceollin I may represent an important component of a phytoalexin-enriched food (activated) diet in terms of chemoprevention as well as a novel therapeutic. Tilghman SL, Boué SM, Burow ME. Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology. 2010;2(4) Pp.155-60. DOI: 10.4255/mcpharmacol.10.21
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