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Journal of Cancer Prevention


J Cancer Prev 2019; 24(3): 146-154

Published online September 30, 2019

© Korean Society of Cancer Prevention

Effect of the Interaction Between Selenium and Zinc on DNA Repair in Association With Cancer Prevention

Aysegul Yildiz1, Yesim Kaya1, Ozgur Tanriverdi2,3

1Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Faculty of Science, Mugla Sitki Kocman University, 2Department of Medical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Mugla Sitki Kocman University, 3Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Mugla, Turkey

Correspondence to :
Ozgur Tanriverdi
E-mail:, ORCID: Ozgur Tanriverdi,

Received: April 24, 2019; Revised: May 26, 2019; Accepted: June 4, 2019

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cancer is the most common cause of death worldwide. Annually, more than ten million new cancer cases are diagnosed, and more than six million deaths occur due to cancer. Nonetheless, over 80% of human cancer may be preventable through proper nutrition. Numerous nutritional compounds are effective in preventing cancer. Selenium and zinc are essential micronutrients that have important roles in reducing oxidative stress and protecting DNA from the attack of reactive oxygen species. Selenium is an essential trace element that possesses several functions in many cellular processes for cancer prevention. Meanwhile, zinc may have protective effects on tumor initiation and progression, and it is an essential cofactor of several mammalian proteins. Results show that both selenium and zinc provide an effective progression of DNA repair system; thus, cancer development that originated from DNA damage is decreased. Results mostly focus on the separate effects of these two elements on different cell types, tissues, and organs, and their combined effects are largely unknown. This review aimed to emphasize the joint role of selenium and zinc specifically on DNA repair for cancer prevention.

Keywords: Trace elements, Selenium, Zinc, DNA repair system, Cancer prevention

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