Phenethyl isothiocyanate inhibits growth of human chronic myeloid leukemia K562 cells via reactive oxygen species generation and caspases.

Molecular medicine reports

PubMedID: 24788892

Wang Y, Wei S, Wang J, Fang Q, Chai Q. Phenethyl isothiocyanate inhibits growth of human chronic myeloid leukemia K562 cells via reactive oxygen species generation and caspases. Mol Med Rep. 2014;.
Phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), a potential cancer chemopreventive constituent of cruciferous vegetables, including watercress, has been reported to inhibit cancer cell growth by arresting the cell cycle and inducing apoptosis in various human cancer cell models. However, the role of PEITC in the inhibition of human chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) K562 cell growth and its underlying mechanisms have yet to be elucidated. In the present study, PEITC was found to induce cell death through the induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) stress and oxidative damage. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), which participates in the development of numerous tumors and the sensitivity of these tumors to chemotherapeutic drugs, plays a protective role by modulating oxidative injury. Therefore, the present study assessed the inhibitory effect of PEITC on K562 cells and whether HO-1 facilitated cell apoptosis and ROS generation. PEITC was found to suppress cell growth and cause apoptosis by promoting Fas and Fas ligand expression, increasing ROS generation and by the successive release of cytochrome c as well as the activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3. PEITC was also combined with the HO-1 inhibitor zinc protoporphyrin IX and the inducer hemin to assess whether HO-1 determines cell survival and ROS generation. The results of the present study suggest that PEITC may be a potential anti-tumor compound for CML therapy, and that HO-1 has a critical function in PEITC-induced apoptosis and ROS generation.