Molecular targets in cancer prevention by 4-(methylthio)butyl isothiocyanate - A comprehensive review

Life Sci. 2020 Jan 15:241:117061. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2019.117061. Epub 2019 Nov 30.


The consumption of cruciferous vegetables rich in isothiocyanates has long been associated with a reduced risk of various types of cancer. 4-(methylthio)butyl isothiocyanate also called erucin is an isothiocyanate present in appreciable quantity in the seeds of Eruca sativa Mill. plant. Although the literature has revealed its protective effects via inducing phase II enzymes and inhibiting carcinogen activating phase I enzymes, recent studies also suggest that, it inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells by altering the telomerase activity, dynamics of microtubules, expression of histone deacetylases, and other molecular pathways. With this in mind, the emphasis has been made to review the molecular targets involved in cancer prevention by 4-(methylthio)butyl isothiocyanate.

Keywords: 4-(Methylthio)butyl isothiocyanate; Apoptosis; Cell-cycle; Chemoprevention; HDAC; Isothiocyanate.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Isothiocyanates / pharmacology*
  • Telomerase / metabolism
  • Tubulin / metabolism
  • Tubulin Modulators / pharmacology
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • 4-methylthiobutyl isothiocyanate
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Tubulin
  • Tubulin Modulators
  • Telomerase