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LE Magazine January 2002


Distinct forms of hepatic androgen 6 beta-hydroxylase induced in the rat by indole-3-carbinol and pregnenolone carbonitrile.

The ability of indole-3-carbinol (IC), an anticarcinogen present in cruciferous vegetables, to induce CYP1A1, CYP1A2, CYP2B1/2, CYP2E1 and CYP3A1/2 in female rat liver was determined by Western analysis using monoclonal antibodies and compared to effects produced by pregnenolone carbonitrile in animals of both sexes. The ontogeny of induction of these cytochrome P450 isozymes in response to oral administration of IC was also investigated. An inverse correlation was observed between the 6 beta-hydroxylation of androsterone (A) and the induction by IC of CYP3A1/2, the P450 isozyme responsible for the bulk of hepatic 6 beta-hydroxylation of 4-androstenedione (AD). The effect of inhibitors on the formation of 6 beta-OHA from A or AD was also determined and shown to differ from their action on the P450 isozymes involved in the formation of the 6 beta-hydroxylated derivatives of AD or lithocholic acid. The results indicate that the enzyme induced by IC is distinct from the CYP3A1/2 which catalyzes hydroxylations at position 6 beta, allylic in AD but not in the fully saturated ring system of A. The increased hepatic conversion of A to its biologically less active 6 beta-OHA metabolite after treatment of female rats with IC could possibly contribute to the anticarcinogenic action of indole carbinols. It is also proposed that the action of multiple inducers present in cruciferous and other vegetables might produce androgen metabolic profiles very different from those produced by individual components isolated from them.

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 1994 Nov;51(3-4):219-25

Indole-3-carbinol inhibits the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase-6 and induces a G1 cell cycle arrest of human breast cancer cells independent of estrogen receptor signaling.

Indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a naturally occurring component of Brassica vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, has been shown to reduce the incidence of spontaneous and carcinogen-induced mammary tumors. Treatment of cultured human MCF7 breast cancer cells with I3C reversibly suppresses the incorporation of [3H]thymidine without affecting cell viability or estrogen receptor (ER) responsiveness. Flow cytometry of propidium iodide-stained cells revealed that I3C induces a G1 cell cycle arrest. Concurrent with the I3C-induced growth inhibition, Northern blot and Western blot analyses demonstrated that I3C selectively abolished the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase 6 (CDK6) in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, I3C inhibited the endogenous retinoblastoma protein phosphorylation and CDK6 phosphorylation of retinoblastoma in vitro to the same extent. After the MCF7 cells reached their maximal growth arrest, the levels of the p21 and p27 CDK inhibitors increased by 50%. The antiestrogen tamoxifen also suppressed MCF7 cell DNA synthesis but had no effect on CDK6 expression, while a combination of I3C and tamoxifen inhibited MCF7 cell growth more stringently than either agent alone. The I3C-mediated cell cycle arrest and repression of CDK6 production were also observed in estrogen receptor-deficient MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells, which demonstrates that this indole can suppress the growth of mammary tumor cells independent of estrogen receptor signaling. Thus, our observations have uncovered a previously undefined antiproliferative pathway for I3C that implicates CDK6 as a target for cell cycle control in human breast cancer cells. Moreover, our results establish for the first time that CDK6 gene expression can be inhibited in response to an extracellular antiproliferative signal.

J Biol Chem 1998 Feb 13;273(7):3838-47

2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and diindolylmethanes differentially induce cytochrome P450 1A1, 1B1, and 19 in H295R human adrenocortical carcinoma cells.

Diindolylmethane (DIM) is an acid-catalyzed condensation product of indole-3-carbinol, a constituent of cruciferous vegetables, and is formed in the stomach. DIM alters estrogen metabolism and inhibits carcinogen-induced mammary tumor growth in rodents. DIM is a weak agonist for the aryl hydrocarbon (Ah) receptor and blocks the effects of estrogens via inhibitory Ah receptor-estrogen receptor cross-talk. DIM and various structural analogs were examined in H295R cells for effects on 3 cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes involved in estrogen synthesis and/or metabolism: CYP1A1, CYP1B1, and CYP19 (aromatase). Aromatase activity was measured by conversion of 1 beta-(3)H-androstenedione to estrone and (3)H(2)O. H295R cells were exposed to the test chemicals dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide for 24 h prior to analyses. 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) (0--30 nM) and DIM (0--10 microM) induced ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity, as a measure of CYP1A1 and possibly 1B1 activity, with EC(50) values of about 0.3 nM and 3 microM, respectively. DIM, but not TCDD, induced aromatase activity with an apparently maximal 2-fold increase at 10 microM; higher concentrations of DIM and many of its analogs were cytotoxic. TCDD (30 nM) significantly increased CYP1A1 and 1B1 mRNA levels, but had no effect on mRNA for CYP19. DIM (3 microM) significantly increased mRNA levels for all three CYPS: DIM analogs with substitutions on the 5 and 5’ position (3 microM) induced aromatase and EROD activity, together with mRNA levels of CYP1A1, 1B1, and 19; analogs that were substituted on the central carbon of the methane group showed little or no inductive activity toward the CYPS: In conclusion, DIM and several of its analogs appear to induce CYPs via multiple yet distinct pathways in H295R human adrenocortical carcinoma cells.

Toxicol Sci 2001 May;61(1):40-8

Ah receptor binding properties of indole carbinols and induction of hepatic estradiol hydroxylation.

The effect of route of administration on the ability of indole-3-carbinol (13C), an anticarcinogen present in cruciferous vegetables, to induce estradiol 2-hydroxylase (EH) in female rat liver microsomes was investigated and compared to that of its main gastric conversion product, 3,3’-diindolylmethane (DIM). This dimer was more potent than 13C after either oral or intraperitoneal administration and was also a better in vitro inhibitor of EH in control and 13C-induced hepatic microsomes. The induction of both CYP1A1 and 1A2 in about equal amounts by 13C and DIM as well as of CYP2B1/2 was demonstrated using monoclonal antibodies. DIM, isosafrole, beta-naphthoflavone, 3-methylcholanthrene and naringenin added in vitro inhibited EH strongly in induced microsomes but gestodene was a better inhibitor of estrogen 2-hydroxylation in liver microsomes from untreated female rats. The binding affinities of 13C and DIM to the Ah receptor were compared to that of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) by competition studies, and the IC50 values were shown to be 2.0 x 10(-9) M, 5.0 x 10(-5) M and 2.3 x 10(-3) M for TCDD, DIM and 13C, respectively. The ability of 13C or DIM to cause in vitro transformation of the Ah receptor to a form able to bind to the dioxin-responsive element-3 (DRE3) was compared to that of TCDD and shown to parallel their abilities to compete for binding of [3H]TCDD to the Ah receptor. These experiments confirm and extend the proposals that dietary indoles induce specific cytochrome P450s in rat liver by a mechanism possibly involving the Ah receptor. The induced monooxygenases, in turn, increase the synthesis of 2-hydroxylated estrogens in the competing pathways of 2- and 16 alpha-hydroxylation which decreases the levels of 16 alpha-hydroxyestrone able to form stable covalent adducts with proteins including the estrogen receptor. Such steroid-protein interaction has been correlated with mammary carcinogenesis.

Biochem Pharmacol 1993 Mar 9;45(5):1129-36

Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) induced cell growth inhibition, G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men and it is the second leading cause of cancer related death in men in the United States. Recent dietary and epidemiological studies have suggested the benefit of dietary intake of fruits and vegetables in lowering the incidence of prostate cancer. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides phytochemicals, particularly indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which may be responsible for the prevention of many types of cancer, including hormone-related cancers such as prostate. Studies to elucidate the role and the molecular mechanism(s) of action of I3C in prostate cancer, however, have not been conducted. In the current study, we investigated whether I3C had any effect against prostate cancer cells and, if so, attempts were made to identify the potential molecular mechanism(s) by which I3C elicits its biological effects on prostate cancer cells. Here we report for the first time that I3C inhibits the growth of PC-3 prostate cancer cells. Induction of G1 cell cycle arrest was also observed in PC-3 cells treated with I3C, which may be due to the observed effects of I3C in the up-regulation of p21(WAF1) and p27(Kip1) CDK inhibitors, followed by their association with cyclin D1 and E and down-regulation of CDK6 protein kinase levels and activity. The induction of p21(WAF1) appears to be transcriptionally upregulated and independent of the p53 responsive element. In addition, I3C inhibited the hyperpohosphorylation of the Retinoblastoma (Rb) protein in PC-3 cells. Induction of apoptosis was also observed in this cell line when treated with I3C, as measured by DNA laddering and poly (ADP-ribose) polymersae (PARP) cleavage. We also found an up-regulation of Bax, and down-regulation of Bcl-2 in I3C-treated cells. These effects may also be mediated by the down-regulation of NF-kappaB observed in I3C treated PC-3 cells. From these results, we conclude that I3C inhibits the growth of PC-3 prostate cancer cells by inducing G1 cell cycle arrest leading to apoptosis, and regulates the expression of apoptosis-related genes. These findings suggest that I3C may be an effective chemopreventive or therapeutic agent against prostate cancer.

Oncogene 2001 May 24;20(23):2927-36

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