Journal Article

Allyl-isothiocyanate causes mitotic block, loss of cell adhesion and disrupted cytoskeletal structure in HT29 cells

Tracy K. Smith, Elizabeth K. Lund, Mary L. Parker, Rosemary G. Clarke and Ian T. Johnson

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 25, issue 8, pages 1409-1415
Published in print August 2004 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online August 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgh149
Allyl-isothiocyanate causes mitotic block, loss of cell adhesion and disrupted cytoskeletal structure in HT29 cells

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Epidemiological evidence indicates that Brassica vegetables protect against colorectal cancer. Brassicas contain glucosinolates, the breakdown products of which exert antiproliferative effects against cancer cells. We have examined the effects of allyl-isothiocyanate (AITC), a major breakdown product of the glucosinolate sinigrin, on proliferation and death of colorectal cancer cells. HT-29 colorectal cells were exposed to AITC for 24 h and the number of adherent and detached cells determined. Both populations were analysed for cell-cycle characteristics and examined by light and electron microscopy for features of apoptosis and mitosis. Evidence of apoptosis was also determined by flow cytometric analysis of Annexin V staining in the detached population of cells. AITC-treated cells were also stained for α-tubulin. Treatment caused cells to round up after 7 h of exposure and subsequently detach. At 24 h these cells were blocked in mitosis. Detached AITC-treated cells showed no signs of apoptosis as assessed by morphological features or by Annexin V staining but they did show evidence of disrupted tubulin. AITC inhibits proliferation of cancer cells by causing mitotic block associated with disruption of α-tubulin in a manner analogous to a number of chemotherapeutic agents.

Keywords: AITC, allyl-isothiocyanate; DMC, 1,2-dimethylhydrazine; ITC, isothiocyanates; PI, propidium iodide

Journal Article.  5064 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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