Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer Res. 2007 Apr 15;67(8):3569-73.

Phenethyl isothiocyanate, a cancer chemopreventive constituent of cruciferous vegetables, inhibits cap-dependent translation by regulating the level and phosphorylation of 4E-BP1.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Hillman Cancer Center Research Pavilion, 5117 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


Phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), a constituent of many edible cruciferous vegetables, exerts significant protection against chemically induced cancer in animal models and inhibits growth of cancer cells in culture and in vivo by causing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis induction. In this study, we report a novel response to PEITC involving the regulation of translation initiation at pharmacologically achievable concentrations. Treatment of human colorectal cancer HCT-116 cells and human prostate cancer PC-3 cells, but not a normal prostate epithelial cell line (PrEC), with PEITC caused an increase in expression of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) binding protein (4E-BP1) and inhibition of 4E-BP1 phosphorylation. Results from pull-down assay using 7-methyl-GTP Sepharose 4B beads indicated that PEITC treatment reduced cap-bound eIF4E, confirming that increased 4E-BP1 expression and inhibition of 4E-BP1 phosphorylation indeed reduced the availability of eIF4E for translation initiation. Accordingly, results from in vivo translation using luciferase reporter assay indicated that PEITC treatment inhibited cap-dependent translation, in particular the translation of mRNA with secondary structure (stem-loop structure). Ectopic expression of eIF4E prevented PEITC-induced translation inhibition and conferred significant protection against PEITC-induced apoptosis. These results indicate that PEITC modulates availability of eIF4E for translation initiation leading to inhibition of cap-dependent translation. The present study also suggests that inhibition of cap-dependent translation may be an important mechanism in PEITC-induced apoptosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center