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The Glucosinolates: A Sulphur Glucoside Family of Mustard Anti-Tumour and Antimicrobial Phytochemicals of Potential Therapeutic Application

by James Melrose 1,2,3
1
Honorary Senior Research Associate, Raymond Purves Bone and Joint Research Laboratory, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, Royal North Shore Hospital, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, St. Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia
2
Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
3
Sydney Medical School, Northern, Royal North Shore Hospital, St. Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia
Biomedicines 2019, 7(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines7030062
Received: 25 July 2019 / Revised: 15 August 2019 / Accepted: 17 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Compounds in Biomedicine)
This study reviewed aspects of the biology of two members of the glucosinolate family, namely sinigrin and glucoraphanin and their anti-tumour and antimicrobial properties. Sinigrin and glucoraphanin are converted by the β-sulphoglucosidase myrosinase or the gut microbiota into their bioactive forms, allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) and sulphoraphanin (SFN) which constitute part of a sophisticated defence system plants developed over several hundred million years of evolution to protect them from parasitic attack from aphids, ticks, bacteria or nematodes. Delivery of these components from consumption of cruciferous vegetables rich in the glucosinolates also delivers many other members of the glucosinolate family so the dietary AITCs and SFN do not act in isolation. In vitro experiments with purified AITC and SFN have demonstrated their therapeutic utility as antimicrobials against a range of clinically important bacteria and fungi. AITC and SFN are as potent as Vancomycin in the treatment of bacteria listed by the World Health Organisation as antibiotic-resistant “priority pathogens” and also act as anti-cancer agents through the induction of phase II antioxidant enzymes which inactivate potential carcinogens. Glucosinolates may be useful in the treatment of biofilms formed on medical implants and catheters by problematic pathogenic bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus and are potent antimicrobials against a range of clinically important bacteria and fungi. The glucosinolates have also been applied in the prevention of bacterial and fungal spoilage of food products in advanced atmospheric packaging technology which improves the shelf-life of these products. View Full-Text
Keywords: glucosinolate; sulphopharane; allyl isothiocyanate; phase II detoxification enzymes; anti-tumour agents; anti-bacterials glucosinolate; sulphopharane; allyl isothiocyanate; phase II detoxification enzymes; anti-tumour agents; anti-bacterials
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Melrose, J. The Glucosinolates: A Sulphur Glucoside Family of Mustard Anti-Tumour and Antimicrobial Phytochemicals of Potential Therapeutic Application. Biomedicines 2019, 7, 62.

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