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Sci Rep. 2018 Mar 5;8(1):3999. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-22411-9.

Exposure of kale root to NaCl and Na2SeO3 increases isothiocyanate levels and Nrf2 signalling without reducing plant root growth.

Author information

1
Convergence Research Center for Smart Farm Solution, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Gangneung Institute of Natural Products, Gangneung, Gangwon-do, 25451, Korea.
2
Convergence Research Center for Smart Farm Solution, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Gangneung Institute of Natural Products, Gangneung, Gangwon-do, 25451, Korea. cwnho@kist.re.kr.

Abstract

A plant factory is a closed cultivation system that provides a consistent and modified environment for plant growth. We speculated that treatment of kale (Brassica oleracea) grown in a plant factory with NaCl, Na2SeO3, or both would increase the bioactive phytochemical levels including glucosinolates (GLSs) and isothiocyanates (ITCs), the key molecules in cancer prevention. The kale was harvested and analysed after treatment with NaCl and Na2SeO3 alone or in combination for 1 or 2 weeks. Exposure to NaCl alone but not Na2SeO3 increased plant root growth. Levels of sinigrin were increased by a 2-week exposure to Na2SeO3 alone or in combination with NaCl, whereas no changes were observed in glucoraphanin and gluconasturtiin gluconasturtiin levels. Importantly, the ITC concentration was affected by 2-week treatment with both compounds. To evaluate the bioactivity of kale, HepG2 human hepatoma cells were treated with plant extract for 6 h. Only the extract of kale roots exposed to a combination NaCl and Na2SeO3 for 2 weeks showed an increased expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2), which regulates genes encoding antioxidant proteins. These data suggest that co-treatment with NaCl and Na2SeO3 increased the ITC content and chemopreventive effects of kale root.

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