Sulforaphane and Lactobacilli induce apoptosis in several cancer cells. Sulforaphane, a dietary isothiocyanate, is an attractive agent due to its potent anticancer effects. Sulforaphane suppresses the proliferation of various cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. The present study investigated the effect of sulforaphane and a co-culture with Lactobacillus-treated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in human colon cancer cells. The combination markedly induced apoptosis in human colon cancer HCT116 and SW480 cells. A pan-caspase inhibitor markedly inhibited apoptosis, and a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor/Fc chimera partially inhibited apoptosis in both cells. The amount of TNFα secretion in the culture supernatant was significantly increased by co-culture with Lactobacillus-treated normal human PBMCs. On the other hand, the expression of cellular inhibitor of apoptosis-2 (cIAP-2), an anti-apoptotic protein, was increased by co-culture with Lactobacillus-treated PBMCs in colon cancer cells, but sulforaphane treatment significantly suppressed the induction of cIAP-2. The present results revealed that sulforaphane enhances apoptosis in human colon cancer cells under co-culture with Lactobacillus-treated PBMCs via the TNFα signaling pathway.
Keywords: Lactobacillus; apoptosis; colon cancer; sulforaphane; tumor necrosis factor α.
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