Sulforaphene suppresses growth of colon cancer-derived tumors via induction of glutathione depletion and microtubule depolymerization

Sanguine Byun, Seung Ho Shin, Jiman Park, Semi Lim, Eunjung Lee, Chaeyoon Lee, Dongeun Sung, Lee Farrand, Seoung Rak Lee, Ki Hyun Kim, Zigang Dong, Sam W. Lee, Ki Won Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Scope: Cruciferous vegetables harbor a number of isothiocyanates that have been recognized for their cancer-related properties. Out of these, sulforaphene (a naturally occurring derivative of sulforaphane) has received little attention in studies of colon cancer and its mechanism of action remains to be elucidated. Methods and results: We observed that sulforaphene inhibited growth of human colon cancer cell lines HCT116, HT-29, KM12, SNU-1040, and DLD-1, while exhibiting negligible toxicity toward nonmalignant cells. Sulforaphene induced G2/M phase cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of colon cancer cells analyzed by flow cytometry, concomitant with phosphorylation of CDK1 and CDC25B at inhibitory sites, and upregulation of the p38 and JNK pathways. It was further determined that sulforaphene is a potent inhibitor of microtubule polymerization while generating reactive oxygen species via the depletion of glutathione. These observations further extended into inhibitory effects against colon tumor growth in a mouse xenograft model. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that sulforaphene may contribute to the anti-tumor effects of cruciferous vegetables that contain sulforaphene and other isothiocyanates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1068-1078
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science


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