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Broccoli targets cancer cells.

Clarke J, Hsu A, Yu Z et al. 2011. Differential effects of sulforaphane on histone deacetylases, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in normal prostate cells versus hyperplastic and cancerous prostate cells. Mol Nutr Food Res 55;999-1009.

Sulforaphane (SFN) is an isothiocyanate derived from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and broccoli sprouts. Epidemiologic studies suggest that cruciferous vegetable intake may lower the overall risk of cancers including prostate cancer. It is thought that the ability of SFN to inhibit histone deacetylase (HDAC) enzymes may be one mechanism by which it acts as a chemopreventive agent. The aim of this in vitro study was to investigate the protective and therapeutic role of SFN in prostate cancer.

Researchers used normal prostate epithelial cells (PrEC), benign hyperplasia epithelial cells (BPH1), androgen dependent prostate cancer epithelial cells (LnCap), and androgen independent prostate cancer epithelial cells (PC3). Cells were cultured at 5% C[O.sub.2] and 37[degrees]C.

SFN was shown to preferentially induce apoptosis in BPH1 and PC3 cells (P <0.01). Apoptosis was observed following 48 hours of SFN treatment indicated by increases in multicaspase activity. SFN was also shown to selectively reduce several class I and class II HDAC proteins in BPH1, LnCap and PC3 but not normal PrEC prostate cells (P <0.01).

These results indicate that not only is SFN effective at targeting cancer cells through multiple chemopreventative mechanisms, it does not affect (and is therefore safe in) normal tissues.

This study provides further support for the relevance of SFN as a dietary HDAC inhibitor and chemopreventive agent by showing that SFN can selectively target BPH1, LnCap and PC3 prostate cells while leaving normal PrEC prostate cells virtually unaffected.

Kathleen Murphy MNHAA

murphykath@gmail.com

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Author:Murphy, Kathleen
Publication:Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism
Article Type:Report
Date:Sep 22, 2011
Words:287
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