Molecular Targets and Anticancer Potential of indole-3-carbinol and Its Derivatives

Cell Cycle. 2005 Sep;4(9):1201-15. doi: 10.4161/cc.4.9.1993. Epub 2005 Sep 6.

Abstract

Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is produced by members of the family Cruciferae, and particularly members of the genus Brassica (e.g., cabbage, radishes, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and daikon). Under acidic conditions, 13C is converted to a series of oligomeric products (among which 3,3'-diindolylmethane is a major component) thought to be responsible for its biological effects in vivo. In vitro, 13C has been shown to suppress the proliferation of various tumor cells including breast cancer, prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, colon cancer, and leukemic cells; induce G1/S arrest of the cell cycle, and induce apoptosis. The cell cycle arrest involves downregulation of cyclin D1, cyclin E, cyclin- dependent kinase (CDK)2, CDK4, and CDK6 and upregulation of p15, p21, and p27. Apoptosis by I3C involves downregulation antiapoptotic gene products, including Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, survivin, inhibitor-of-apoptosis protein (IAP), X chromosome-linked IAP (XIAP), and Fas-associated death domain protein-like interleukin-1-beta-converting enzyme inhibitory protein (FLIP); upregulation of proapoptotic protein Bax; release of micochondrial cytochrome C; and activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3. This agent inhibits the activation of various transcription factors including nuclear factor-kappaB, SP1, estrogen receptor, androgen receptor and nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). This indole potentiates the effects of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) through induction of death receptors and synergises with chemotherapeutic agents through downregulation of P-glycoprotein (P-gp). In vivo, I3C was found to be a potent chemopreventive agent for hormonal-dependent cancers such as breast and cervical cancer. These effects are mediated through its ability to induce apoptosis, inhibit DNA-carcinogen adduct formation, and suppress free-radical production, stimulate 2-hydroxylation of estradiol, inhibit invasion and angiogenesis. Numerous studies have indicated that I3C also has a strong hepatoprotective activity against various carcinogens. Initial clinical trials in women have shown that I3C is a promising agent against breast and cervical cancers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis
  • Brassica
  • Carcinogens
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / chemistry
  • DNA Adducts
  • Down-Regulation
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Indoles / chemistry*
  • Indoles / pharmacokinetics
  • Indoles / pharmacology*
  • Ligands
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Chemical
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Plant Extracts / metabolism
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation

Substances

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Carcinogens
  • DNA Adducts
  • Indoles
  • Ligands
  • Plant Extracts
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Transcription Factors
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • indole-3-carbinol