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Review
, 247 (1), 26-39

The Enigmatic Effects of Caffeine in Cell Cycle and Cancer

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Review

The Enigmatic Effects of Caffeine in Cell Cycle and Cancer

Ann M Bode et al. Cancer Lett.

Abstract

Caffeine may very well be the most frequently ingested neuroactive drug in the world. Mechanistically, caffeine has been reported to affect cell cycle function, induce programmed cell death or apoptosis and perturb key cell cycle regulatory proteins. Although the effects of caffeine have been heavily investigated, much of the research data regarding caffeine's effects on cell cycle and proliferation seem ambiguous. One important factor may be that caffeine has been used experimentally in numerous cell types under a variety of conditions at concentrations ranging from micromolar to high millimolar. Physiologically, achieving experimental blood levels of caffeine would be extremely difficult without adverse side effects. Therefore, the relevance of experimental data obtained by using high concentrations of caffeine is not clear and may account for some of the discrepancies in the literature. This review attempts to reconcile data regarding the cellular effects of caffeine by examining reported effects on cell cycle, proliferation and apoptosis with careful attention to differences in experimental conditions and caffeine concentration utilized.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Chemical structure of caffeine.
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Effects of caffeine. (A) DNA-damage induces G1 arrest and caffeine has varying effects (see text for details). (B) G2 checkpoint— Under normal conditions, the cyclinB/Cdc2 complex is dephosphorylated and activated by Cdc25C and mitosis can proceed. (C) DNA-damage induces phosphorylation and activation of Chk1, which then phosphorylates and deactivates Cdc25C. This results in Cdc25C forming a complex with 14-3-3 and Cdc25C is not able to dephosphorylate and activate the cyclinB/Cdc2 complex. The net result is G2/M arrest to allow time for DNA repair. Caffeine acts on various components to reverse the G2/M arrest.

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