Plant Constituent To Cancer Cells

Wogonin brings about the death program apoptosis in tumor cells, while it has almost no effect on healthy cells. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have found the molecular mechanism underlying this selectivity. The mechanism underlying the selective effect of this plant constituent had still been unclear. There are two different ways by which the apoptosis program can be started in a cell: by external stimuli or by signals from within the cell as a response to factors such as radioactive radiation or reactive oxygen compounds such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Defects in genes that control growth can turn a cell into a threat for the whole organism. Defective cells that might get out of control are driven into suicide by a protective mechanism called apoptosis. However, this life saving mechanism is no longer working in most tumor cells, since numerous molecules regulating apoptosis are defective.