Selective sensitivity to wasabi-derived 6-(methylsulfinyl)hexyl isothiocyanate of human breast cancer and melanoma cell lines studied in vitro.
Cancer Detect Prev. 2005;29(2):155-60. PMID: 15829375
Recently, attention has focused on the anticancer properties of an aromatic component 6-(methylsulfinyl)hexyl isothiocyanate (6-MITC) in a typical Japanese spice, wasabi. In this paper, anticancer activity of 6-MITC in vitro was studied by using a human cancer cell (HCC) panel. 6-MITC directly affected the cells in the HCC panel and inhibited their growth in culture. The mean concentration required to inhibit 50% of control cell growth was 3.9 microM, which is a sufficiently low dosage for practical use. The suppression influenced not only the cell growth, but also the survival of these cells. The mean concentration to suppress cells to a 50% survival was 43.7 microM. The reduction activity of 6-MITC was differential, and it suppressed specific cells. These severely suppressed cell lines included breast cancer and melanoma cell lines. For example, one melanoma line was seriously damaged at a concentration of 0.3 microM of 6-MITC. Compared with other MITCs (2-MITC, 4-MITC and 8-MITC), 6-MITC showed the most effective suppression and with the most specific manner of the cells mentioned above. A "COMPARE" analysis using a computerized algorithm, which was based on the HCC database, suggested that the suppression mechanism of 6-MITC is unique and may be different from that of other known chemicals. The actual mechanism may not a simple one but may involve multiple pathways. On account of its sufficiently small size, 6-MITC is a new possible candidate for controlling cancer cells.