Natural molecules as modulators of epigenetic silencing in human cells for cancer care and aging

  • Aleksandra Kosianova Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, School of Biomedicine, Far Eastern Federal University, 10 Ajax Bay, Russky Island, Vladivostok, 690922, Russian Federation
  • Vladlena Tiasto Centre for Genomic and Regenerative Medicine, School of Biomedicine, Far Eastern Federal University, 10 Ajax Bay, Russky Island, Vladivostok, 690922, Russian Federation
  • Margarita Yatsunskaya Centre for Genomic and Regenerative Medicine, School of Biomedicine, Far Eastern Federal University, 10 Ajax Bay, Russky Island, Vladivostok, 690922, Russian Federation; Federal Scientific Center of the East Asia Terrestrial Biodiversity, Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, pr. 100-letiya Vladivostoka, 159, Vladivostok, 690022, Russian Federation
  • Yuri Khotimchenko Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, School of Biomedicine, Far Eastern Federal University, 10 Ajax Bay, Russky Island, Vladivostok, 690922, Russian Federation
  • Alexander Kagansky Centre for Genomic and Regenerative Medicine, School of Biomedicine, Far Eastern Federal University, 10 Ajax Bay, Russky Island, Vladivostok, 690922, Russian Federation


The etiology and pathogenesis of malignant tumor growth are associated with impaired gene expression, leading to accelerated proliferation, evasion of apoptosis, and metabolic deregulations with abnormal blood supply and innervation. Currently, hundreds of tumor suppressor genes and proto-oncogenes are known. Mutations, epigenetic alterations, exposure to viruses, and other environmental factors can cause pathological changes in gene expression. The key mechanisms of carcinogenesis are now considered to be linked to epigenetic events. A better understanding of epigenetic targets and pathways is needed to develop new strategies in antitumor chemotherapy. The majority of modern cancer drugs were taken from nature, yet only a small fraction of natural molecular diversity has been explored to date. Therefore, there is great interest in identifying new natural molecules for modulating gene expression by rewiring epigenetic pathways. This review is focused on examples of known natural molecules available to biomedicine, especially ones capable of modulating epigenetic landscapes and therefore relevant for cancer prevention and aging.


cancer, aging, natural products, silencing, methylation, histone modification, signaling pathways


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How to Cite
Kosianova, A., Tiasto, V., Yatsunskaya, M., Khotimchenko, Y., & Kagansky, A. (2020). Natural molecules as modulators of epigenetic silencing in human cells for cancer care and aging. Biological Communications, 65(4), 315–330.
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