Hanny Nugrahani, Rizky Abdulah and Jutti Levita*


Chemoprevention of cancer is intended to control the growth of cancer using fruits and vegetables or chemical compounds, in which their mechanism is by reversing or suppressing carcinogenesis. Sulforaphane (4-methysulfinylbutylisothiocyanate, SFN), an isothiocyanate compound contained in Brassicaceae family plants commonly credited to broccoli, is known to exhibit many pharmacology properties, mostly as anticancer. In this review study, we summarize the present knowledge about the chemistry and various pharmacological activities of SFN, furthermore its underlying mechanism as chemopreventive agent. These studies proved that this compound shows 40% bioavailability. Pharmacokinetic studies in human showed that the Cmax of SFN and its metabolites increased rapidly at 1 and 3h after administration. SFN exhibits anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer activities, among other minor activities. The mechanism of anticancer activity of SFN was suggested could be attributed to: (1) its inducing capacity on caspase-8 and P21 expression and its down-regulating on hsp90; (2) its ability to selectively decreasing HDAC activity which eventually inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in BPH1, LnCap, and PC3 cells but not PrEC cells; (3) SFN also increased acetylated histone H3 at the promoter for P21 and increased tubulin acetylation in prostate cancer cells; (4) SFN activates the Nrf2 signaling pathway and protects against H2O2-mediated oxidative damage in normal colonic cells.

Keywords: Brassicaceae, Chemoprevention, Isothiocyanate, Glucosinolates, Sulforaphane.

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