The Potential Antitumor Effects of Capsaicin

  • Inés Díaz-LaviadaEmail author
  • Nieves Rodríguez-Henche
Part of the Progress in Drug Research book series (PDR, volume 68)


Capsaicin, one of the major pungent ingredients found in red peppers, has been recently demonstrated to induce apoptosis in many types of malignant cell lines including colon adenocarcinoma, pancreatic cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and many others. The mechanism whereby capsaicin induces apoptosis in cancer cells is not completely elucidated but involves intracellular calcium increase, reactive oxygen species generation, disruption of mitochondrial membrane transition potential, and activation of transcription factors such as NFκB and STATS. Recently, a role for the AMP-dependent kinase (AMPK) and autophagy pathways in capsaicin-triggered cell death has been proposed. In addition, capsaicin shows antitumor activity in vivo by reducing the growth of many tumors induced in mice. In this chapter, we report the last advances performed in the antitumor activity of capsaicin and review the main signaling pathways involved.


Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress LNCaP Cell Mitochondrial Transmembrane Potential TRPV1 Receptor Capsaicin Treatment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work has been supported by Spanish Minneco (grant BFU2012-31444), Comunidad de Madrid (Grant S2010/BMD-2308), and Fundación Tatiana Pérez de Guzmán.


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© Springer Basel 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, Department of System BiologyUniversity of AlcalaMadridSpain

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