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    Anti-cancer actions of carnosine and the restoration of normal cellular homeostasis

    Turner, Mark D, Sale, Craig ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5816-4169, Garner, A Christopher and Hipkiss, Alan R (2021) Anti-cancer actions of carnosine and the restoration of normal cellular homeostasis. BBA: Molecular Cell Research, 1868 (11). p. 119117. ISSN 0167-4889

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    Carnosine is a naturally occurring dipeptide found in meat. Alternatively it can be formed through synthesis from the amino acids, β-alanine and L-histidine. Carnosine has long been advocated for use as an anti-oxidant and anti-glycating agent to facilitate healthy ageing, and there have also been reports of it having anti-proliferative effects that have beneficial actions against the development of a number of different cancers. Carnosine is able to undertake multiple molecular processes, and it's mechanism of action therefore remains controversial - both in healthy tissues and those associated with cancer or metabolic diseases. Here we review current understanding of its mechanistic role in different physiological contexts, and how this relates to cancer. Carnosine turns over rapidly in the body due to the presence of both serum and tissue carnosinase enzymes however, so its use as a dietary supplement would require ingestion of multiple daily doses. Strategies are therefore being developed that are based upon either resistance of carnosine analogs to enzymatic turnover, or else β-alanine supplementation, and the development of these potential therapeutic agents is discussed.

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