Understanding Lunasin's biology and potential as a cancer therapeutic by utilizing Drosophila genetics

Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2014 May;239(5):519-28. doi: 10.1177/1535370214522180. Epub 2014 Mar 13.


Soy contains many bioactive molecules known to elicit anticancer effects. One such peptide, Lunasin, has been shown to selectively act on newly transformed cells while having no cytotoxic effect on non-tumorigenic or established cancer cell lines. While this effect on in vitro systems is promising, Lunasin's efficacy in an in vivo system is yet to be assessed. In this review, we discuss the state of knowledge with respect to Lunasin and then review some of the powerful genetic tools available in Drosophila. The availability of a sophisticated genetic tool box makes Drosophila an excellent genetic model well suited to studying the biology of Lunasin and its effect on tumor progression in an in vivo model organism.

Keywords: Drosophila; Lunasin; cancer; metastasis; tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Biology / methods*
  • Soybean Proteins / pharmacology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • GM2S-1 protein, soybean
  • Soybean Proteins