Role of 4-hydroxynonenal in chemopreventive activities of sulforaphane

Rajendra Sharma, Abha Sharma, Pankaj Chaudhary, Mukesh Sahu, Shailesh Jaiswal, Sanjay Awasthi, Yogesh C. Awasthi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Chemoprevention of cancer via herbal and dietary supplements is a logical approach to combating cancer and currently it is an attractive area of research investigation. Over the years, isothiocyanates, such as sulforaphane (SFN) found in cruciferous vegetables, have been advocated as chemopreventive agents, and their efficacy has been demonstrated in cell lines and animal models. In vivo studies with SFN suggest that in addition to protecting normal healthy cells from environmental carcinogens, it also exhibits cytotoxicity and apoptotic effects against various cancer cell types. Among several mechanisms for the chemopreventive activity of SFN against chemical carcinogenesis, its effect on drug-metabolizing enzymes that cause activation/neutralization of carcinogenic metabolites is well established. Recent studies suggest that SFN exerts its selective cytotoxicity to cancer cells via reactive oxygen species-mediated generation of lipid peroxidation products, particularly 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE). Against the background of the known biochemical effects of SFN on normal and cancer cells, in this article we review the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for the overall chemopreventive effects of SFN, focusing on the role of HNE in these mechanisms, which may also contribute to its selective cytotoxicity to cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2177-2185
Number of pages9
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2012


  • 4-Hydroxynonenal
  • Chemoprevention
  • Free radicals
  • Glutathione S-transferases
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Sulforaphane


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