Abstract Title:

Allyl Isothiocyanate Induces Cell Toxicity by Multiple Pathways in Human Breast Cancer Cells.

Abstract Source:

Am J Chin Med. 2016 ;44(2):415-37. PMID: 27080949

Abstract Author(s):

Peng Bo, Jin-Cherng Lien, Ya-Yin Chen, Fu-Shun Yu, Hsu-Feng Lu, Chun-Shu Yu, Yu-Cheng Chou, Chien-Chih Yu, Jing-Gung Chung

Article Affiliation:

Peng Bo


Isothiocyanates (ITCs) occur in many cruciferous vegetables. These compounds, which have significant anticancer actions, can induce apoptosis in different human cancer cell lines. In the present study, we investigated if allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) would induce toxicity in human breast cancer MCF-7 (estrogen receptor positive) and MDA-MB-231 (estrogen receptor negative) cells. We found that AITC stimulated reactive oxygen species and Ca[Formula: see text] production, and decreased the mitochondrial membrane potential. Activity of caspase-8, -9 and -3 was increased by AITC in both cell lines. AITC also induced mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis, as shown by cytochrome c, AIF and Endo G release from mitochondria, activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3, and formation of DAPI-positive cells. There was a significant reduction in the levels of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 along with a marked increase in the pro-apoptotic protein Bax in both cell lines. AITC induced apoptosis in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells via AIF and Endo G signaling pathways, but in MDA-MB-231 cells apoptosis occurred via the GADD153 pathway. This study has revealed novel anti-cancer mechanisms of AITC, a compound that is ordinarily present in human diets and may have potential therapeutic effects in various cancers.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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