Modulation of Rat Pulmonary Carcinogen

Modulation of rat pulmonary carcinogen-metabolising enzyme systems by the isothiocyanates erucin and sulforaphane.

Chem Biol Interact. 2009 Jan 27;177(2):115-20. Epub 2008 Sep 7.

Hanlon N, Coldham N, Sauer MJ, Ioannides C.

Centre of Toxicology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of the structurally related aliphatic isothiocyanates erucin and sulforaphane to modulate the pulmonary carcinogen-metabolising enzyme systems in rat lung, a target organ of their chemopreventive activity. Precision-cut rat lung slices were prepared and incubated for 24 h with a range of concentrations of either erucin or sulforaphane, up to 50microM. Neither compound modulated the O-deethylation of ethoxyresorufin whereas they elevated markedly CYP1A1 and, to a lesser extent, CYP1B1 apoprotein levels. Neither compound influenced the O-depentylation of pentoxyresorufin or CYP2B apoprotein levels, but sulforaphane caused a modest increase in CYP3A2 apoprotein levels. Pulmonary quinone reductase activity, monitored using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazo-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide as substrate, was markedly up-regulated by both compounds and was paralleled by a similar rise in protein levels. Both compounds increased cytosolic glutathione S-transferase activity, measured using 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene as the accepting substrate; a modest rise was seen in GSTalpha protein levels, determined immunologically, whereas GSTpi levels were un-affected by the same treatment. Finally, both erucin and sulforaphane increased total glutathione concentration in lung cytosol. It is concluded that these aliphatic isothiocyanates have the potential to antagonise the carcinogenicity of pulmonary carcinogens by stimulating the in situ detoxication of their DNA-binding genotoxic metabolites.




Note from ISS:  Several crucifer sprouts including broccoli sprouts are currently the most potent natural source of sulforaphane known.  They often produce 10 to 100 times the amount of sulforaphane as their corresponding mature vegetables. (“Broccoli sprouts: an exceptionally rich source of inducers of enzymes that protect against chemical carcinogens.”, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1997 Sep 16;94(19):10367-72.)