Benzyl isothiocyanate and phenethyl isothiocyanate inhibit murine melanoma B16F10 cell migration and invasion in vitro

Int J Oncol. 2017 Sep;51(3):832-840. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2017.4084. Epub 2017 Jul 27.


Benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC), and phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) have been demonstrated to induce anticancer function in many human cancer cells and also inhibit cancer cell migration and invasion. However, there are no studies that show BITC and PEITC to inhibit cell migration and invasion in mouse melanoma B16F10 cells. In this study, we investigated anti-metastasis effects of BITC and PEITC in melanoma cancer cells in vitro. Under sub-lethal concentrations (from 1, 2.5 up to 5 µM), BITC and PEITC significantly inhibited cell mobility, migration and invasion nature of B16F10 cells. Gelatin zymography assay also showed that BITC and PEITC inhibited matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) activity in B16F10 cells. PEITC reduced MAPK signaling associated proteins such as p-ERK1/2, p-p38 and p-JNK1/2 but BITC increased those MAPK signaling associated proteins. BITC and PEITC both suppressed the expression of RhoA, Ras, and SOS-1, however, PEITC increased FAK and GRB2 but BITC increased FAK at 48 h. Furthermore, PEITC decreased the expression of MMP-2 and tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMP) but BITC increased them. PEITC inhibited NF-κB protein levels and DNA binding which was confirmed by electrophoretic mobility shift (EMSA) assay. Based on these observations, we suggest that BITC and PEITC can be used in anti-metastasis of melanoma cells in the future.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Isothiocyanates / administration & dosage*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / genetics
  • Melanoma, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Melanoma, Experimental / pathology
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / genetics
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Isothiocyanates
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • phenethyl isothiocyanate
  • benzyl isothiocyanate
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2