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Isothiocyanates induce oxidative stress and suppress the metastasis potential of human non-small cell lung cancer cells

Author(s): Wu Xiang | Zhu Yu | Yan Huiqin | Liu Boning | Li Ying | Zhou Qinghua | Xu Ke

Journal: BMC Cancer
ISSN 1471-2407

Volume: 10;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 269;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract Background Isothiocyanates are natural compounds found in consumable cruciferous vegetables. They have been shown to inhibit chemical carcinogenesis by a wide variety of chemical carcinogens in animal models. Recent studies have also shown that isothiocyanates have antitumor activity, inhibiting the growth of several types of cultured human cancer cells. Our previous study showed that PEITC inhibited human leukemia cells growth by inducing apoptosis. However, the effect of isothiocyanates on lung cancer cell metastasis has not been studied. In the present study, we investigated the inhibitory effects of BITC and PEITC on metastatic potential of highly metastatic human lung cancer L9981 cells. Methods Cell migration and invasion were measured by wound healing assay and transwell chemotaxis assay. Expression of metastasis-related genes was assessed by quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting. The mechanisms of action were evaluated by flow cytometry, reporter assay and Western blotting. Results Our data showed that both BITC and PEITC inhibited L9981 cell growth in a dose-dependent manner, the IC50 values were 5.0 and 9.7 μM, respectively. Cell migrations were reduced to 8.1% and 16.5% of control, respectively; and cell invasions were reduced to 2.7% and 7.3% of control, respectively. Metastasis-related genes MMP-2, Twist and β-catenin were also modulated. BITC and PEITC inhibited cell survival signaling molecules Akt and NFκB activation. Moreover, BITC and PEITC increased ROS generation and caused GSH depletion. Pretreatment with NAC blocked BITC and PEITC induced ROS elevation and NFκB inhibition. Conclusion Our results indicated that BITC and PEITC suppress lung cancer cell metastasis potential by modulation of metastasis-related gene expression, inhibition of Akt/NFκB pathway. Induction of oxidative stress may play an important role.
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