Definition

Sulforaphane (SFN) is the most characterized isothiocyanate. SFN has received a great deal of attention because of its ability to simultaneously modulate multiple cellular targets involved in cancer development, including: (i) DNA protection by modulating carcinogen-metabolizing enzymes and blocking the action of mutagens; (ii) inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis, thereby retarding or eliminating clonal expansion of initiated, transformed, and/or neoplastic cells; (iii) inhibition of neoangiogenesis, progression of benign tumors to malignant tumors, and metastasis formation. SFN is therefore able to prevent, delay, or reverse preneoplastic lesions, as well as to act on cancer cells as a therapeutic agent. Taking into account this evidence and its favorable toxicological profile, SFN can be viewed as a conceptually promising agent in cancer prevention and/or therapy. SFN is the hydrolysis product of glucoraphanin, particularly high in the young sprouts of broccoli and cauliflower. SFN can also be obtained by eating cruciferous vegetables such as brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, kale, collards, arugula, broccoli sprouts, chinese broccoli, broccoli raab, kohlrabi, mustard, turnip, radish, watercress and cabbage. (PMID: 17134937) [HMDB]

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