Abstract Title:

Biphasic modulation of cell proliferation by sulforaphane at physiologically relevant exposure times in a human colon cancer cell line.

Abstract Source:

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Aug;51(8):977-84. PMID: 17628879

Abstract Author(s):

Gerlinde Pappa, Helmut Bartsch, Clarissa Gerhäuser

Article Affiliation:

Division of Toxicology and Cancer Risk Factors, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.


Sulforaphane (SFN), a cancer chemopreventive compound derived from broccoli, is able to induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in various tumor cell lines. Here we show that cell growth inhibition by SFN follows a biphasic pattern: Transient exposure of 40-16 human colon carcinoma cells for up to 6 h resulted in reversible G(2)/M cell cycle arrest and cytostatic growth inhibition even at elevated concentrations, whereas a minimum continuous exposure time of 12 h was necessary for SFN to irreversibly arrest cells in G(2)/M phase and subsequently induce apoptosis. IC(50) values after 12 h of exposure followed by drug-free recovery up to 72 h (6.4-8.1 microM) were indistinguishable from those of chronic exposure for 24 to 72 h (5.4-6.6 microM). Low concentrations of SFN caused a transient decrease in glutathione (GSH) levels followed by GSH induction, which may be related to reversible G(2)/M arrest and cytostatic effects. Depletion of GSH does not seem to play a role in SFN-mediated apoptosis induction. Our data clearly contribute to a better understanding of the kinetics of antiproliferative activity of SFN.

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