Differential induction of NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase by anti-carcinogenic organosulfides from garlic

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1998 Mar 27;244(3):917-20. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1998.8352.


This study was undertaken to elucidate the mechanism of organ specificity and differential efficacy of garlic organosulfides (OSCs) [diallyl sulfide (DAS), diallyl disulfide (DADS), diallyl trisulfide (DATS), dipropyl sulfide (DPS) and dipropyl disulfide (DPDS)] in preventing benzo(a)pyrene (BP)-induced tumorigenesis in mice. The results of the present study reveal a good correlation between chemopreventive efficacies of garlic OSCs and their inductive effects on the expression of NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase (NQO), an enzyme implicated in the detoxification of activated quinone metabolites of BP. Treatment of mice with DADS and DATS, which are potent inhibitors of BP-induced forestomach tumorigenesis, resulted in a statistically significant increase (2.4- and 1.5-fold, respectively) in forestomach NQO activity. In addition, DADS and DATS were much more potent inducers of forestomach NQO activity than DAS, which is a weak inhibitor of BP-induced forestomach tumorigenesis than the former compounds. Propyl-group containing OSCs (DPS and DPDS), which do not inhibit BP-induced tumorigenesis, did not affect forestomach NQO activity. Similar to forestomach, a good correlation was also observed between effects of these OSCs against BP-induced pulmonary tumorigenesis and their effects on NQO expression in the lung. For example, treatment of mice with DAS, which is a potent inhibitor of BP-induced pulmonary tumorigenesis, resulted in about 3.2-fold increase in pulmonary NQO activity. On the other hand, this activity was increased by about 1.5-fold upon DATS administration, which does not inhibit BP-induced cancer of the lung. In conclusion, our results suggest that induction of NQO may be important in anti-cancer effects of garlic OSCs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Allyl Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / pharmacology
  • Carcinogens / pharmacology
  • Disulfides / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Induction / drug effects
  • Female
  • Garlic / chemistry*
  • Lung / enzymology
  • Mice
  • NAD(P)H Dehydrogenase (Quinone) / biosynthesis*
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Propane / analogs & derivatives
  • Propane / pharmacology
  • Stomach / enzymology
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Sulfides / pharmacology*


  • Allyl Compounds
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Carcinogens
  • Disulfides
  • Sulfides
  • diallyl trisulfide
  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • diallyl disulfide
  • allyl sulfide
  • NAD(P)H Dehydrogenase (Quinone)
  • n-propyl disulfide
  • dipropyl sulfide
  • Propane