Mechanisms of action of isothiocyanates in cancer chemoprevention: an update.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Food & function, Volume 2, Issue 10, p.579-87 (2011)

Keywords:

2011, Center-Authored Paper, October 2011, Public Health Sciences Division

Abstract:

Isothiocyanates (ITC), derived from glucosinolates, are thought to be responsible for the chemoprotective actions conferred by higher cruciferous vegetable intake. Evidence suggests that isothiocyanates exert their effects through a variety of distinct but interconnected signaling pathways important for inhibiting carcinogenesis, including those involved in detoxification, inflammation, apoptosis, and cell cycle and epigenetic regulation, among others. This article provides an update on the latest research on isothiocyanates and these mechanisms, and points out remaining gaps in our understanding of these events. Given the variety of ITC produced from glucosinolates, and the diverse pathways on which these compounds act, a systems biology approach, in vivo, may help to better characterize their integrated role in cancer prevention. In addition, the effects of dose, duration of exposure, and specificity of different ITC should be considered.