Past research has proposed that sulforaphane – a compound present in broccoli and various cruciferous vegetables – can aid to prevent cancer or slow its growth. Another review may have found how.
Researchers from Oregon State College (OSU) found that sulforaphane lessened the expression of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in prostate cancer cells, which disturbed the cells’ capacity to form colonies – a sign of metastatic cancer.
Beforehand believed to be “junk DNA” with no important function, lncRNAs have increasingly appeared as key players in the development of various cancers, including prostate, breast, stomach, and lung diseases.
Studies have proposed that lncRNAs can control gene expression – the procedure by which genes are changed on or off in order to do their jobs. At the point when lncRNAs get to be dysregulated, it is believed that they can fuel disease development.
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Not only does the new study give additional proof of the role lncRNAs play in cancer, however it supports past research hailing the anticancer effects of sulforaphane.
“It’s obviously of interest that this dietary compound, found at some of its highest levels in broccoli, can affect lncRNAs,” says principal study investigator Emily Ho, of the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health at OSU.
“This could open the door to a whole range of new dietary strategies, foods, or drugs that might play a role in cancer suppression or therapeutic control,” she adds.
Ho and colleagues recently reported their results in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
Sulforaphane prompted a fourfold decrease in colony formation
To achieve their findings, the researchers administer whole-genome sequencing on normal human epithelial prostate cells and prostate cancer cells.
They found that the prostate cancer cells indicated high expression of lncRNAs, especially one called LINC01116.
But when the group conducted sulforaphane to the prostate cancer cells, LINC01116 levels were diminished, leading to a fourfold reduction in the cells’ capacity to form colonies.
As indicated by the researchers, their discoveries support the possibility of IncRNAs as a target for cancer prevention, and they recommend that dietary intake of sulforaphane might be a practical way to target these molecules.
Lead study author Laura Beaver, of the Linus Pauling Institute and College of Public Health and Human Sciences at OSU, says that their results may not only have suggestions for cancer prevention, but for cancer treatment.
“It would be of significant value if we could develop methods to greatly slow the progress of cancer, [and] help keep it from becoming invasive,” she notes.
While further studies are needed to better see how sulforaphane might prevent and slow cancer, the researchers believe that their findings help to shed some light.