Figure 2: Anticarcinogenic effects of pomegranate constituents. Several pomegranate constituents including anthocyanins, phenols, ellagitannins (punicalin, punicalagin), and other tannins can reduce the expression of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) through an NF-κB and MAPK pathways dependence. Such components can inhibit phosphatidylinositide 3-kinases (PI3K), protein kinase B or Akt, or NF-κB directly and result in decreased transcription of inflammatory genes such as tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and IL-1β among others. They can also inhibit MAPK-induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2, JNK1,2,3 and p38 which finally result in the inhibition of activation protein 1 (AP-1), another transcription factor regulating the expression of pro-inflammatory molecules. Inhibited COX-2 expression leads to reduced cell proliferation and apoptosis as well as decreased production of prostaglandins, which are important inflammatory mediators.