The inhibitory effect of sulforaphane on bladder cancer cell depends on GSH depletion-induced by Nrf2 translocation

Can-Xia He, Luigina Buongiorno, Wei Wang, Jonathan C. Y. Tang, Natalizia Miceli, Maria Fernanda Taviano, Yujuan Shan, Yongping Bao

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Sulforaphane (SFN), an isothiocyanate (ITCs) derived from glucosinolate that is found in cruciferous vegetables, has been reported to exert a promising anticancer effect in a substan-tial amount of scientific research. However, epidemical studies showed inconsistencies between cruciferous vegetable intake and bladder cancer risk. In this study, human bladder cancer T24 cells were used as in vitro model for revealing the inhibitory effect and its potential mechanism of SFN on cell growth. Here, a low dose of SFN (2.5 µM) was shown to promote cell prolifera-tion (5.18–11.84%) and migration in T24 cells, whilst high doses of SFN (>10 µM) inhibited cell growth significantly. The induction effect of SFN on nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) expression at both low (2.5 µM) and high dose (10 µM) was characterized by a bell-shaped curve. Nrf2 and glutathione (GSH) might be the underlying mechanism in the effect of SFN on T24 cell growth since Nrf2 siRNA and GSH-depleting agent L-Buthionine-sulfoximine abolished the effect of SFN on cell proliferation. In summary, the inhibitory effect of SFN on bladder can-cer cell growth and migration is highly dependent on Nrf2-mediated GSH depletion and fol-lowing production. These findings suggested that a higher dose of SFN is required for the pre-vention and treatment of bladder cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4919
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2021


  • Bladder cancer
  • Chemoprevention
  • Glutathione
  • Nrf2
  • Sulforaphane

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