-Sulforaphane (SFN), a synthetic analogue of broccoli-derived isomer l
-SFN, exerts cytotoxic effects on multiple tumor cell types through different mechanisms and is more potent than the l
-isomer at inhibiting cancer growth. However, the means by which SFN impairs glioblastoma (GBM) cells remains poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the anti-cancer effect of SFN in GBM cells and determined the underlying molecular mechanisms. Cell viability assays, flow cytometry, immunofluorescence, and Western blot results revealed that SFN could induced apoptosis of GBM cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner, via up-regulation of caspase-3 and Bax, and down-regulation of Bcl-2. Mechanistically, SFN treatment led to increase the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) level in GBM cells. Meanwhile, SFN also suppressed both constitutive and IL-6-induced phosphorylation of STAT3, and the activation of upstream JAK2 and Src tyrosine kinases, dose- and time-dependently. Moreover, blockage of ROS production by using the ROS inhibitor N
-cysteine totally reversed SFN-mediated down-regulation of JAK2/Src-STAT3 signaling activation and the subsequent effects on apoptosis by blocking the induction of apoptosis-related genes in GBM cells. Taken together, our data suggests that SFN induces apoptosis in GBM cells via ROS-dependent inactivation of STAT3 phosphorylation. These findings motivate further evaluation of SFN as a cancer chemopreventive agent in GBM treatment.
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