Anti-Cancer Effects of Carnosine-A Dipeptide Molecule

Monica D. Prakash, Sarah Fraser, Jennifer C. Boer, Magdalena Plebanski, Barbora de Courten, Vasso Apostolopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Carnosine is a dipeptide molecule (β-alanyl-l-histidine) with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-glycation, and chelating properties. It is used in exercise physiology as a food supplement to increase performance; however, in vitro evidence suggests that carnosine may exhibit anti-cancer properties. METHODS: In this study, we investigated the effect of carnosine on breast, ovarian, colon, and leukemic cancer cell proliferation. We further examined U937 promonocytic, human myeloid leukemia cell phenotype, gene expression, and cytokine secretion to determine if these are linked to carnosine's anti-proliferative properties. RESULTS: Carnosine (1) inhibits breast, ovarian, colon, and leukemic cancer cell proliferation; (2) upregulates expression of pro-inflammatory molecules; (3) modulates cytokine secretion; and (4) alters U937 differentiation and phenotype. CONCLUSION: These effects may have implications for a role for carnosine in anti-cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1644
Number of pages10
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2021


  • anti-cancer
  • carnosine
  • cytokine
  • immunomodulation
  • β-alanyl-l-histidine

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