Heriot Watt University, UK
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Nutr Food Sci
Isothiocyanates are compounds characterized by the substitution of oxygen in the sulfur atom of the isocyanate group and can be isolated from cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, etc. They have been shown to inhibit cell growth and induce cell death in various in vitro and in vivo cancer models, properties which have formed the basis of their utilization in drug development. In regards to melanoma development, many reports indicate the involvement of deregulated cell death pathways; an observation which undoubtedly contributes to why the disease does not respond to current therapeutic strategies. Thus, the objective of the present study was the determination of the therapeutic effectiveness of specific isothiocyanate compounds (R, S-Sulforaphane; SFN, Phenethyl; PEITC and Benzyl; BITC) against an in vitro model of human skin cancer consisting of immortalized keratinocytes (HaCaT; non-malignant); malignant melanoma (A375); and epidermoid carcinoma (A431; non-melanoma) cells. Our results show that SFN and PEITC potentiated cell death in A375 cells but not in A431 and HaCaT cells. On the other hand, BITC induced cell death in all cells involved (A375, A431 and HaCaT) but with a variable degree and dependent on cell type thus demonstrating its highly cytotoxic profile. Ongoing efforts are addressing the underlying molecular mechanisms by which these compounds induce cell death in order to enhance our understanding of their therapeutic potential in treating malignant melanoma.
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