Induction of apoptosis in HT-29 cells by extracts from isothiocyanates-rich varieties of Brassica Oleracea

Sergi Mas, Anna Crescenti, Patricia Gassó, Ramon Deulofeu, Rafael Molina, Antonio Ballesta, Thomas W. Kensler, Amalia Lafuente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Among the vegetables with anti-carcinogenic properties, members of the genus Brassica are the most effective at reducing the risk of cancer. This property may be explained by their principle bioactive compounds, isothiocyanates (ITCs). The aim of this study was to measure the amounts of ITCs in extracts from vegetables of the Brasssica genus and assay them for potency of induction of apoptosis in a colorectal cancer cell line (HT-29). ITCs were determined by the cyclocondensation assay with I ,2-benzenedithiol and induction of apoptosis by assessment of cell viability, caspase-3 activity and DNA fragmentation. Purple cabbage extract showed the highest ITC concentration per gram, fresh weight, followed by black cabbage and Romanesco cauliflower. At ITC concentrations of 7.08 μg/mL these extracts decreased cell viability and induced caspase-3 and DNA fragmentation at 48h. Brussels sprouts showed the strongest effects on cell viability and caspase-3 activity. Varieties of Brassica Oleracea are rich sources of ITCs that potently inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells by inducting apoptosis. All the extracts showed anticancer activity at ITC concentrations of between 3.54 to 7.08 μg/mL, which are achievable in vivo. Our results showed that ITC concentration and the chemopreventive responses of plant extracts vary among the varieties of Brassica Oleracea studied and among their cultivars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-114
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cancer Research


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