Research Papers:

The natural compound sulforaphene, as a novel anticancer reagent, targeting PI3K-AKT signaling pathway in lung cancer

Ming Yang, Haiyong Wang, Mo Zhou, Weilin Liu, Pengqun Kuang, Hao Liang and Qipeng Yuan _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:76656-76666. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12307

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Ming Yang1,*, Haiyong Wang1,*, Mo Zhou1,*, Weilin Liu1, Pengqun Kuang1, Hao Liang1, Qipeng Yuan1

1State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource Engineering, Beijing Laboratory of Biomedical Materials, College of Life Science and Technology, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Qipeng Yuan, email: [email protected]

Keywords: sulforaphene, lung cancer, isothiocyanate, PI3K-AKT

Received: December 03, 2015     Accepted: September 12, 2016     Published: September 28, 2016


Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide. Isothiocyanates from cruciferous vegetables been shown to possess anticarcinogenic activities in lung malignances. We previously found sulforaphene (4-methylsufinyl-3-butenyl isothiocyanate, SFE), one new kind of isothiocyanates, existing in a relative high abundance in radish seeds. An efficient methodology based on macroporous resin and preparative high-performance liquid chromatography was developed to isolate SFE in reasonably large quantities, high purity and low cost. However, it is still largely unclear whether SFE could function as an antineoplastic compound, especially in lung cancer. In this study, we systematically investigated the anti-cancer effects of SFE in vitro as well as its possible underling molecular mechanisms in lung cancer. The acute toxicity tests and pharmacokinetics tests for SFE were performed to evaluate its drugability in mice. Also, we evaluated the in vivo anti-cancer effects of SFE using nude Balb/C mice with lung cancer xenograft. SFE can induce apoptosis of multiple lung cancer celllines and, thus, inhibited cancer cell proliferation. Lung cancer cells treated with SFE exhibit significant inhibition of the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway, including depressed PTEN expression and inhibition of AKT phosphoralation. At well-tolerated doses, administration of SFE to mice bearing lung cancer xenografts leads to significant inhibitions of tumor growth. In summary, our work identifies SFE as a novel natural broad-spectrum small molecule inhibitor for lung cancer.

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