Journal Article

Sulforaphane sensitizes tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand-mediated apoptosis through downregulation of ERK and Akt in lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells

Cheung-Yun Jin, Dong-Oh Moon, Jae-Dong Lee, Moon-Soo Heo, Yung Hyun Choi, Chang-Min Lee, Yeong-Min Park and Gi-Young Kim

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 28, issue 5, pages 1058-1066
Published in print May 2007 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online December 2006 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:

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The cytotoxic effect of the tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is limited in some cancer cells, including A549 lung adenocarcinoma cells. However, treatment with TRAIL in combination with subtoxic concentrations of sulforaphane (SFN) sensitizes TRAIL-resistant A549 cells to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. Combined treatment with SFN and TRAIL induced chromatin condensation, DNA fragmentation, annexin V staining and sub-G1 phase DNA content. These indicators of apoptosis correlate with the induction of caspase-3 activity that results in the cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and the release of lactate dehydrogenase. Both the cytotoxic effect and apoptotic characteristics induced by combined treatment were significantly inhibited by z-DEVD-fmk, a caspase-3 inhibitor, demonstrating the important role of caspase-3 in the observed cytotoxic effect. Combined treatment also triggered the activation of p38 MAPK and JNK, and downregulation of ERK and Akt. Inhibitors of ERK (PD98059) or Akt (LY294002), but not p38 MAPK, resulted in significantly decreased cell viability. Although the activation of JNK was increased in response to combined treatment, inhibition of the JNK pathway significantly attenuated cell viability. These results indicate that caspase-3 is a key regulator of apoptosis in response to combined SFN and TRAIL in human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells through downregulation of ERK and Akt.

Journal Article.  5692 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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