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Nutr Res Pract. 2013 Apr;7(2):89-95. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2013.7.2.89. Epub 2013 Apr 1.

Inorganic sulfur reduces cell proliferation by inhibiting of ErbB2 and ErbB3 protein and mRNA expression in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells.

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1
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Dankook University, 126 Jukjeon-dong, Suji-gu, Yongin-si, Gyunggi 448-701, Korea.

Abstract

Dietary inorganic sulfur is the minor component in our diet, but some studies suggested that inorganic sulfur is maybe effective to treat cancer related illness. Therefore, this study aims to examine the effects of inorganic sulfur on cell proliferation and gene expression in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. MDA-MB-231 cells were cultured the absence or presence of various concentrations (12.5, 25, or 50 µmol/L) of inorganic sulfur. Inorganic sulfur significantly decreased proliferation after 72 h of incubation (P < 0.05). The protein expression of ErbB2 and its active form, pErbB2, were significantly reduced at inorganic sulfur concentrations of 50 µmol/L and greater than 25 µmol/L, respectively (P < 0.05). The mRNA expression of ErbB2 was significantly reduced at an inorganic sulfur concentration of 50 µmol/L (P < 0.05). The protein expression of ErbB3 and its active form, pErbB3, and the mRNA expression of ErbB3 were significantly reduced at inorganic sulfur concentrations greater than 25 µmol/L (P < 0.05). The protein and mRNA expression of Akt were significantly reduced at an inorganic sulfur concentration of 50 µmol/L (P < 0.05), but pAkt was not affected by inorganic sulfur treatment. The protein and mRNA expression of Bax were significantly increased with the addition of inorganic sulfur concentration of 50 µmol/L (P < 0.05). In conclusion, cell proliferation was suppressed by inorganic sulfur treatment through the ErbB-Akt pathway in MDA-MB-231 cells.

KEYWORDS:

Inorganic sulfur; MDA-MB-231 cell; apoptosis; cell proliferation; epidermal growth factor receptor

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