Cellular accumulation of dietary anticarcinogenic isothiocyanates is followed by transporter-mediated export as dithiocarbamates

Eileen C. Callaway, Yuesheng Zhang, Wade Chew, Hsiao-Hui Chow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Scopus citations


Many dietary isothiocyanates (ITCs) are potent anticarcinogenic agents. ITCs rapidly accumulate to high concentrations in cells as a result of conjugation with intracellular thiols, especially glutathione (GSH). The anticarcinogenic activity of ITCs depends on, at least partly, their accumulation in cells. We report that three major anticarcinogenic ITCs, including allyl-ITC, benzyl-ITC, and phenethyl-ITC, were rapidly exported, upon accumulation in cells, mainly in the forms of GSH- and cysteinylglycine- conjugates, apparently involving MRP-1 and Pgp-1. These findings are consistent with our previous results regarding cellular export of another anticarcinogenic ITC, sulforaphane, and suggest a common cellular response to ITCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 10 2004



  • Allyl isothiocyanate
  • Benzyl isothiocyanate
  • Isothiocyanate
  • Isothiocyanate transport
  • Multidrug resistance associated protein-1
  • P-glycoprotein-1
  • Phenethyl isothiocyanate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology

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