Phytochemicals from Cruciferous Vegetables, Epigenetics, and Prostate Cancer Prevention
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- W. Watson, G., M. Beaver, L., E. Williams, D. et al. AAPS J (2013) 15: 951. doi:10.1208/s12248-013-9504-4
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Epidemiological evidence has demonstrated a reduced risk of prostate cancer associated with cruciferous vegetable intake. Follow-up studies have attributed this protective activity to the metabolic products of glucosinolates, a class of secondary metabolites produced by crucifers. The metabolic products of glucoraphanin and glucobrassicin, sulforaphane, and indole-3-carbinol respectively, have been the subject of intense investigation by cancer researchers. Sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol inhibit prostate cancer by both blocking initiation and suppressing prostate cancer progression in vitro and in vivo. Research has largely focused on the anti-initiation and cytoprotective effects of sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol through induction of phases I and II detoxification pathways. With regards to suppressive activity, research has focused on the ability of sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol to antagonize cell signaling pathways known to be dysregulated in prostate cancer. Recent investigations have characterized the ability of sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol derivatives to modulate the activity of enzymes controlling the epigenetic status of prostate cancer cells. In this review, we will summarize the well-established, “classic” non-epigenetic targets of sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, and highlight more recent evidence supporting these phytochemicals as epigenetic modulators for prostate cancer chemoprevention.