Vitamin K and its analogs: Potential avenues for prostate cancer management

Subramanyam Dasari, Syed M. Ali, Guoxing Zheng, Aoshuang Chen, Venkata Satish Dontaraju, Maarten C. Bosland, Andre Kajdacsy-Balla and Gnanasekar Munirathinam _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:57782-57799. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17997

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Subramanyam Dasari1, Syed M. Ali1, Guoxing Zheng1, Aoshuang Chen1, Venkata Satish Dontaraju2, Maarten C. Bosland3, Andre Kajdacsy-Balla3 and Gnanasekar Munirathinam1

1Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Illinois, Rockford, IL, USA

2Internal Medicine, Rockford Memorial Hospital, Rockford, IL, USA

3Department of Pathology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Correspondence to:

Gnanasekar Munirathinam, email: [email protected]

Keywords: prostate cancer, Vitamin K, dietary constituents, apoptosis and autophagy

Received: December 06, 2016     Accepted: April 15, 2017     Published: May 19, 2017


Epidemiological studies have demonstrated a relationship between cancer incidence and dietary habits. Especially intake of certain essential nutrients like vitamins has been shown to be beneficial in experimental studies and some clinical trials. Vitamin K (VK) is an essential nutrient involved in the blood clotting cascade, and there are considerable experimental data demonstrating its potential anticancer activity in several cancer types including prostate cancer. Previous in vitro and in vivo studies have focused mainly on anti-oxidative effects as the underlying anticancer mechanism of VK. However, recent studies reveal that VK inhibits the growth of cancer cells through other mechanisms, including apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, autophagy, and modulation of various transcription factors such as Myc and Fos. In the present review, we focus on the anticancer effect of dietary VK and its analogs on prostate cancer, with an emphasis on the signaling pathways that are activated following exposure to these compounds. This review also highlights the potential of VK and its derivatives as an adjuvant treatment in combination with other vitamins or with chemotherapeutic drugs. Based on our recent results and a review of the existing literature, we present evidence that VK and its derivatives can potentially be explored as cancer therapy, especially for prostate cancer.

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