Quercetin, which is a phytoestrogen, has been found both to inhibit and promote breast cancer cell growth depending on a variety of factors. Now a new study has reported that quercetin acts against cancer cells by inhibiting insulin receptor signaling, which in turn reduces cancer cell proliferation.

Latest research finds quercetin inhibits insulin receptor signaling

The study referenced at the beginning of this news article was designed to investigate the mechanism of action by which quercetin inhibits insulin receptor (IR) signaling. Previous studies have established that quercetin inhibits breast cancer cell growth in part by inhibiting activation of IR signaling. However, the mechanism has not been established. In the study, the authors demonstrate that quercetin interferes with specific IR interactions. As a result, insulin-stimulated glucose uptake is inhibited due to decreased cell membrane translocation of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4). This, in turn, impairs cancer cell proliferation.

The authors also tested the effects of quercetin in an animal model of cancer. Quercetin inhibited tumor growth in this model, suggesting that quercetin might be useful in the treatment of cancers, according to the authors.