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Potential Therapeutic Targets Of Quercetin, A Plant Flavonol, And Its Role In The Therapy Of Various Types Of Cancer Through The Modulation Of Various Cell Signaling Pathways

Saleh A. Almatroodi, Mohammed A. Alsahli, Ahmad Almatroudi, Amit Kumar Verma, Abdulaziz Aloliqi, Khaled S. Allemailem, Amjad Ali Khan, Arshad Husain Rahmani

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Polyphenolic flavonoids are considered natural, non-toxic chemopreventers, which are most commonly derived from plants, fruits, and vegetables. Most of these polyphenolics exhibit remarkable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. Quercetin (Qu) is a chief representative of these polyphenolic compounds, which exhibits excellent antioxidant and anticancer potential, and has attracted the attention of researchers working in the area of cancer biology. Qu can regulate numerous tumor-related activities, such as oxidative stress, angiogenesis, cell cycle, tumor necrosis factor, proliferation, apoptosis, and metastasis. The anticancer properties of Qu mainly occur through the modulation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), apoptosis, phosphatidyl inositol-3-kinase (P13K)/Akt (proteinase-kinase B)/mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), MAPK (mitogen activated protein kinase)/ERK1/2 (extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2), and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways. The anticancer potential of Qu is documented in numerous in vivo and in vitro studies, involving several animal models and cell lines. Remarkably, this phytochemical possesses toxic activities against cancerous cells only, with limited toxic effects on normal cells. In this review, we present extensive research investigations aimed to discuss the therapeutic potential of Qu in the management of different types of cancers. The anticancer potential of Qu is specifically discussed by focusing its ability to target specific molecular signaling, such as p53, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), VEGF, signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT), PI3K/Akt, and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathways. The anticancer potential of Qu has gained remarkable interest, but the exact mechanism of its action remains unclear. However, this natural compound has great pharmacological potential; it is now believed to be a complementary—or alternative—medicine for the prevention and treatment of different cancers.