Apoptotic cellular events for selenium compounds involved in cancer prevention

Hidemi Rikiishi

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Converging data from epidemiological, ecological, and clinical studies have shown that selenium (Se) can decrease the risk for some types of human cancers. Induction of apoptosis is considered an important cellular event that can account for the cancer preventive effects of Se. Prior to occurrence of apoptosis, Se compounds alter the expression and/or activities of signaling molecules, mitochondria-associated factors, transcriptional factors, tumor suppressor genes, and cellular reduced glutathione. Mechanistic studies have demonstrated that the methylselenol metabolite pool has many desirable attributes of chemoprevention, whereas the hydrogen selenide pool with excess of selenoprotein synthesis can lead to DNA single-strand breaks. To elucidate the effects of Se on cytotoxic events, it should be remembered that the chemical forms and the dose of Se, and the experimental system used, are determinants of its biological activities. This mini-review focuses on elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of cancer prevention by Se with the apoptotic approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-98
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Chemical form
  • Glutathione
  • Mitochondrial pathway
  • Selenium compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Apoptotic cellular events for selenium compounds involved in cancer prevention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this