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Allyl isothiocyanate, a compound present in human diets, found to induce cell toxicity in breast cancer cell lines


In this study, a team of researchers from Taiwan examined the effect of allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), a compound present in many cruciferous vegetables, on human breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. The results were published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

  • Isothiocyanates are compounds that have been shown to exhibit anticancer effects, such as the induction of apoptosis in different human cancer cell lines.
  • In this study, the researchers found that AITC stimulated reactive oxygen species and Ca2+ production, as well as reduced the mitochondrial membrane potential.
  • It also increased the activity of caspase-8, -9 and -3 in both cell lines; caspases play essential roles in programmed cell death and inflammation.
  • In addition, AITC induced mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis.
  • There was a significant decrease in the levels of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 together with a marked elevation in the pro-apoptotic protein Bax in both cell lines.
  • AITC induced programmed cell death in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells via AIF and Endo G signaling pathways, but in MDA-MB-231 programmed cell death occurred via the GADD153 pathway.

In sum, the results demonstrated that AITC, a compound that is ordinarily present in human diets, may be used to treat various cancers.

For more studies on potential cancer treatments, go to AntiCancer.news.

Journal Reference:

Bo P, Lien JC, Chen YY, Yu FS, Lu HF, Yu CS, Chou YC, Yu CC, Chung JG. ALLYL ISOTHIOCYANATE INDUCES CELL TOXICITY BY MULTIPLE PATHWAYS IN HUMAN BREAST CANCER CELLS. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1 April 2016; 44(2): 415-437. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X16500245

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