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J Agric Food Chem. 2005 May 18;53(10):3895-901.

Effects of Brussels sprout juice on the cell cycle and adhesion of human colorectal carcinoma cells (HT29) in vitro.

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Institute of Food Research, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich, NR4 7UA, United Kingdom.


Consumption of Brassica vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of cancer of the alimentary tract in animal models and human populations. We used raw juice extracted from Brussels sprouts rich in the glucosinolate sinigrin to explore the effect of naturally occurring glucosinolate breakdown products on cell cycle progression and apoptosis in human colorectal carcinoma cells (HT29). Juice was prepared from sprout tissue immediately before use, and the glucosinolate breakdown products were determined by gas chromatography mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. The cell cycle was analyzed by flow cytometry on detached and adherent cells, and apoptosis was measured in the detached population by annexin V staining. Twenty-four hours after challenge with juice (10 microL/mL), 7-13% of adherent cells had detached from the substratum but the majority (82%) of these cells had not entered apoptosis, whereas only 33% of detached control cells were not apoptotic (p < 0.05). The main glucosinolate breakdown products were as follows: the sinigrin breakdown product, 1-cyano-2,3-epithiopropane (ca. 38 mM); the gluconapin hydrolysis product, 3-butenyl isothiocyanate (ca. 2.2.mM); the glucobrassicin metabolite, ascorbigen (ca. 8 mM); and low concentrations of other indole glucosinolate-derived hydrolysis products such as neoascorbigen and 3,3'-diindolylmethane. A variety of biologically active glucosinolate breakdown products are released by mechanical disruption of raw Brussels sprout tissue, but contrary to previous assumptions, allyl isothiocyanate is not the main compound responsible for the inhibition of cell proliferation.

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