Thiol-reducing agents prevent sulforaphane-induced growth inhibition in ovarian cancer cells
The inhibitory potential of sulforaphane against cancer has been suggested for different types of cancer, including ovarian cancer. We examined whether this effect is mediated by mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and reactive oxygen species (ROS), important signaling molecules related to cell survival and proliferation, in ovarian cancer cells. Sulforaphane at a concentration of 10 μM effectively inhibited the growth of cancer cells. Use of specific inhibitors revealed that activation of MAPK pathways by sulforaphane is unlikely to mediate sulforaphane-induced growth inhibition. Sulforaphane did not generate significant levels of intracellular ROS. Pretreatment with thiol reducers, but not ROS scavengers, prevented sulforaphane-induced growth inhibition. Furthermore, diamide, a thiol-oxidizing agent, enhanced both growth inhibition and cell death induced by sulforaphane, suggesting that the effect of sulforaphane on cell growth may be related to oxidation of protein thiols or change in cellular redox status. Our data indicate that supplementation with thiol-reducing agents should be avoided when sulforaphane is used to treat cancer.