Apoptotic pathway induced by diallyl trisulfide in pancreatic cancer cells

World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Jan 7;20(1):193-203. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i1.193.


Aim: To investigate the effects of diallyl trisulfide (DATS), a garlic-derived organosulfur compound, in pancreatic cancer cells.

Methods: Human pancreatic cancer cells with wild-type p53 gene (Capan-2) and normal pancreatic epithelial cells (H6C7) were cultured in RPMI1640. DATS was prepared at a concentration of 100 μmol/L. Cell viability was determined via the methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium assay. Apoptotic cells were detected by TUNEL assay. Cell cycle analysis was performed using flow cytometry. Protein expression was determined by Western blot. Bax and Bcl-2 expression was detected by immunofluorescence. Apoptosis genes and cell cycle were assessed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.

Results: DATS suppressed the viability of cultured human pancreatic cancer cells (Capan-2) by increasing the proportion of cells in the G2/M phase and induced apoptotic cell death. Western blot analysis indicated that DATS enhanced the expression of Fas, p21, p53 and cyclin B1, but downregulated the expression of Akt, cyclin D1, MDM2 and Bcl-2. DATS induced cell cycle inhibition which was correlated with elevated levels of cyclin B1 and p21, and reduced levels of cyclin D1 in Capan-2 cells and H6C7 cells. DATS-induced apoptosis was markedly elevated in Capan-2 cells compared with H6C7 cells, and this was correlated with elevated levels of cyclin B1 and p53, and reduced levels of Bcl-2. DATS-induced apoptosis was correlated with down-regulation of Bcl-2, Akt and cyclin D1 protein levels, and up-regulation of Bax, Fas, p53 and cyclin B protein levels in Capan-2 cells.

Conclusion: DATS induces apoptosis of pancreatic cancer cells (Capan-2) and non-tumorigenic pancreatic ductal epithelial cells (H6C7).

Keywords: Apoptosis; Cell cycle; Diallyl trisulfide; Pancreatic cancer; p53.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allyl Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / genetics
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • G2 Phase Cell Cycle Checkpoints / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Pancreatic Ducts / drug effects
  • Pancreatic Ducts / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Ducts / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Sulfides / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Allyl Compounds
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Sulfides
  • TP53 protein, human
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • diallyl trisulfide