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J Nutr. 2002 Apr;132(4):773-8.

Diallyl disulfide (DADS) induces the antitumorigenic NSAID-activated gene (NAG-1) by a p53-dependent mechanism in human colorectal HCT 116 cells.

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Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA. .


Garlic is appealing as an anti-carcinogenic agent due to its ability to induce apoptosis in vitro and inhibit the formation and growth of tumors in animals in vivo. Diallyl disulfide (DADS) is a constituent of garlic that suppresses neoplastic cell growth and induces apoptosis. We examined the effects of DADS on various cancer cell lines to better understand its effect on apoptosis and apoptosis-related genes. The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-activated gene (NAG-1) has proapoptotic and antitumorigenic activities and is upregulated by anticancer agents such as NSAIDs. In this study, human colorectal HCT-116 (wild-type p53), HCT-15 (p53 mutant) and human prostate PC-3 (p53 mutant) cells were exposed to DADS. DADS inhibited cell proliferation in all cell lines albeit to a lesser extent in HCT-15 and PC-3 cells at 11.5 and 23 micromol/L. In HCT-116 cells, DADS induced p53 and NAG-1 in a dose-dependent manner and the induction of p53 preceded that of NAG-1. In HCT-116 cells, NAG-1 protein expression was increased 2.4-fold +/- 0.6 at 4.6 micromol/L and 6.1-fold +/- 1.7 at 23 micromol/L DADS, whereas p53 was induced 1.5-fold +/- 0.1 and 2.3-fold +/- 0.4. DADS did not induce NAG-1 or p53 in p53 mutant cell lines; however, NAG-1 expression was induced by sulindac sulfide. HCT-116 cells treated with 4.6 and 23 micromol/L DADS resulted in a 1.9- and 2.9-fold increase in apoptosis, respectively. In contrast, 23 micromol/L DADS induced apoptosis only 1.8-fold in HCT-15 cells and not at all in PC-3 cells. Thus, DADS-induced apoptosis and NAG-1 protein expression appear to occur via p53.

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