טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentVinik Yaron
SubjectThe Effect of the Enzyme Myrosinase Products on the Colon
Cancer Cells, and Their Mechanism of Action
DepartmentDepartment of Biotechnology
Supervisor Professor Emeritus Shmuel Yannai (Deceased)


Abstract

This research was done to investigate the effect of myrosinase products on the viability of colon cancer cells.

The enzyme myrosinase is found in vegetables of the Brassica family. One of its substrate is glucobrassicin. During tissue destruction, the enzyme cleaves this substrate to create indol-3-carbinol (I3C). In an acidic environment, I3C may be converted into other compounds, including 3,3-diindolylmethane (DIM). Studies have shown that there is a connection between consumption of Brassica vegetables and lowered risk of cancer. I3C and DIM are, probably, responsible for this effect.

This research concentrates on colon cancer, one of the most frequent kinds of cancer in elderly men. By using a colorimetric test it was found that both I3C and DIM cause cancer cell death; however, DIM acts at a very low concentration. Several methods, including fragmentation of DNA, PARP cleavage and Caspase 3 activity showed that this effect is caused by apoptosis - a controlled cell death process. The level of several apoptosis-related proteins was also examined. An in-vivo assay was also carried out, showing that injections of DIM to mice with colon cancer bring about decreased tumor growth rate compared to the control group.

The conclusions are that the indole compounds tested possess anti-neplastic activities. Those compounds cause the death of human colon cancer cells by inducing apoptosis. The effects those compounds elicit in normal cells is much smaller, and due to that fact those compounds may be considered as natural and safe agents against colon cancer.