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Antioxidant Functions of Sulforaphane: a Potent Inducer of Phase II Detoxication Enzymes

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Food and Chemical Toxicology

Elsevier BV

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      A major inducer of anticarcinogenic protective enzymes from broccoli: isolation and elucidation of structure.

      Consumption of vegetables, especially crucifers, reduces the risk of developing cancer. Although the mechanisms of this protection are unclear, feeding of vegetables induces enzymes of xenobiotic metabolism and thereby accelerates the metabolic disposal of xenobiotics. Induction of phase II detoxication enzymes, such as quinone reductase [NAD(P)H:(quinone-acceptor) oxidoreductase, EC 1.6.99.2] and glutathione S-transferases (EC 2.5.1.18) in rodent tissues affords protection against carcinogens and other toxic electrophiles. To determine whether enzyme induction is responsible for the protective properties of vegetables in humans requires isolation of enzyme inducers from these sources. By monitoring quinone reductase induction in cultured murine hepatoma cells as the biological assay, we have isolated and identified (-)-1-isothiocyanato-(4R)-(methylsulfinyl)butane [CH3-SO-(CH2)4-NCS, sulforaphane] as a major and very potent phase II enzyme inducer in SAGA broccoli (Brassica oleracea italica). Sulforaphane is a monofunctional inducer, like other anticarcinogenic isothiocyanates, and induces phase II enzymes selectively without the induction of aryl hydrocarbon receptor-dependent cytochromes P-450 (phase I enzymes). To elucidate the structural features responsible for the high inducer potency of sulforaphane, we synthesized racemic sulforaphane and analogues differing in the oxidation state of sulfur and the number of methylene groups: CH3-SOm-(CH2)n-NCS, where m = 0, 1, or 2 and n = 3, 4, or 5, and measured their inducer potencies in murine hepatoma cells. Sulforaphane is the most potent inducer, and the presence of oxygen on sulfur enhances potency. Sulforaphane and its sulfide and sulfone analogues induced both quinone reductase and glutathione transferase activities in several mouse tissues. The induction of detoxication enzymes by sulforaphane may be a significant component of the anticarcinogenic action of broccoli.
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        Broccoli sprouts: An exceptionally rich source of inducers of enzymes that protect against chemical carcinogens

         J Fahey,  Y. Zhang,  P Talalay (1997)
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          Anticarcinogenic activities of sulforaphane and structurally related synthetic norbornyl isothiocyanates.

          Sulforaphane [1-isothiocyanato-4-(methyl-sulfinyl)butane] was recently isolated from one variety of broccoli as the major and very potent inducer of phase 2 detoxication enzymes in murine hepatoma cells in culture. Since phase 2 enzyme induction is often associated with reduced susceptibility of animals and their cells to the toxic and neoplastic effects of carcinogens and other electrophiles, it was important to establish whether sulforaphane could block chemical carcinogenesis. In this paper we report that sulforaphane and three synthetic analogues, designed as potent phase 2 enzyme inducers, block the formation of mammary tumors in Sprague-Dawley rats treated with single doses of 9,10-dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene. The analogues are exo-2-acetyl-exo-6-isothiocyanatonorbornane, endo-2-acetyl-exo-6-isothiocyanatonorbornane, and exo-2-acetyl-exo-5-isothiocyanatonorbornane. When sulforaphane and exo-2-acetyl-exo-6-isothiocyanatonorbornane were administered by gavage (75 or 150 mumol per day for 5 days) around the time of exposure to the carcinogen, the incidence, multiplicity, and weight of mammary tumors were significantly reduced, and their development was delayed. The analogues endo-2-acetyl-exo-6-isothiocyanatonorbornane and exo-2-acetyl-exo-5-isothiocyanatonorbornane were less potent protectors. Thus, a class of functionalized isothiocyanates with anticarcinogenic properties has been identified. These results validate the thesis that inducers of phase 2 enzymes in cultured cells are likely to protect against carcinogenesis.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Food and Chemical Toxicology
            Food and Chemical Toxicology
            Elsevier BV
            02786915
            September 1999
            September 1999
            : 37
            : 9-10
            : 973-979
            10.1016/S0278-6915(99)00082-4
            © 1999

            http://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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