Selective increase of the potential anticarcinogen 4-methylsulphinylbutyl glucosinolate in broccoli

Kathy Faulkner, Richard Mithen, Gary Williamson

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157 Citations (Scopus)


The putative anticarcinogenic activity of Brassica vegetables has been associated with the presence of certain glucosinolates. 4-Methylsulphinylbutyl isothiocyanate (sulphoraphane), derived from the corresponding glucosinolate found in broccoli, has previously been identified as a potent inducer of the anticarcinogenic marker enzyme quinone reductase [NADP(H):quinone-acceptor oxidoreductase] in murine hepatoma Hepa 1c1c7 cells. We have therefore produced a broccoli hybrid with increased levels of this anticarcinogenic glucosinolate and tested the ability of extracts to induce quinone reductase. A 10-fold increase in the level of 4-methylsulphinylbutyl glucosinolate was obtained by crossing broccoli cultivars with selected wild taxa of the Brassica oleracea (chromosome number, n = 9) complex. Tissue from these hybrids exhibited a > 100-fold increase in the ability to induce quinone reductase in Hepa 1c1c7 cells over broccoli cultivars, due to both an increase in 4-methylsulphinylbutyl glucosinolate content and increased percentage conversion to sulphoraphane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-609
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 1998
Externally publishedYes

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