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Cancer Prevention Research

Year: 2010  |  Volume: 3  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 484 - 494

Sulforaphane Inhibits Constitutive and Interleukin-6-Induced Activation of Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 in Prostate Cancer Cells

E. R Hahm and S. V. Singh


d,l-Sulforaphane (SFN), a synthetic analogue of broccoli-derived l-isomer, inhibits viability of human prostate cancer cells and prevents development of prostate cancer and distant site metastasis in a transgenic mouse model. However, the mechanism underlying the anticancer effect of SFN is not fully understood. We now show that SFN inhibits constitutive and interleukin-6 (IL-6)–inducible activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), which is an oncogenic transcription factor activated in many human malignancies, including prostate cancer. Growth-suppressive concentrations of SFN (20 and 40 µmol/L) decreased constitutive (DU145 cells) and IL-6–induced (DU145 and LNCaP cells) phosphorylation of STAT3 (Tyr705) as well as its upstream regulator Janus-activated kinase 2 (Tyr1007/1008). Exposure of DU145 and LNCaP cells to SFN resulted in suppression of (a) IL-6–induced transcriptional activity of STAT3 as judged by luciferase reporter assay and (b) nuclear translocation of phospho-STAT3 as revealed by immunofluorescence microscopy. Levels of many STAT3-regulated gene products, including Bcl-2, cyclin D1, and survivin, were also reduced in SFN-treated cells. The IL-6–mediated activation of STAT3 conferred partial but marked protection against SFN-induced apoptosis as evidenced by cytoplasmic histone-associated DNA fragmentation and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and procaspase-3. Furthermore, knockdown of STAT3 protein using small interfering RNA resulted in a modest yet statistically significant increase in SFN-induced apoptotic DNA fragmentation in DU145 cells. Suppression of STAT3 activation was also observed in cells treated with naturally occurring analogues of SFN. In conclusion, the present study indicates that inhibition of STAT3 partially contributes to the proapoptotic effect of SFN. Cancer Prev Res; 3(4); 484–94. ©2010 AACR.

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