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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 370481, 11 pages
Review Article

DNA Repair and Cancer Therapy: Targeting APE1/Ref-1 Using Dietary Agents

1Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
2Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
3Department of Radiation Oncology, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA

Received 1 July 2012; Accepted 31 July 2012

Academic Editor: Omer Kucuk

Copyright © 2012 Julian J. Raffoul et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Epidemiological studies have demonstrated the cancer protective effects of dietary agents and other natural compounds isolated from fruits, soybeans, and vegetables on neoplasia. Studies have also revealed the potential for these natural products to be combined with chemotherapy or radiotherapy for the more effective treatment of cancer. In this paper we discuss the potential for targeting the DNA base excision repair enzyme APE1/Ref-1 using dietary agents such as soy isoflavones, resveratrol, curcumin, and the vitamins ascorbate and α-tocopherol. We also discuss the potential role of soy isoflavones in sensitizing cancer cells to the effects of radiotherapy. A comprehensive review of the dual nature of APE1/Ref-1 in DNA repair and redox activation of cellular transcription factors, NF-κB and HIF-1α, is also discussed. Further research efforts dedicated to delineating the role of APE1/Ref-1 DNA repair versus redox activity in sensitizing cancer cells to conventional treatment are warranted.