Sulforaphane Modulates Cell Migration and Expression of β-Catenin and Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition Markers in Breast Cancer Cells

We aimed to assess the effect of sulforaphane (SFN) on breast cancer cell migration and also its effect on the expression of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers and β-catenin.


This study was performed in Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran from 20172018. In this experimental study, MDA-MB-231 cells were treated with different concentrations of SFN (5, 10, 20, 30 and 40 μM) at different time points of 24, 48, and 72 h. The control group was untreated cells. The inhibitory effects of different concentrations of SFN on cell migration at different time points were evaluated using scratch assay. Moreover, apoptosis was assessed by using flow cytometric analysis. The expression of βcatenin and EMT markers of ZEB1, fibronectin, and claudin-1 were determined by real-time PCR. Western blotting analysis of β-catenin was applied to determine its changes after SFN treatment.


SFN markedly inhibited the migration of cells at concentrations of 10, 20, 30, and 40µM after 24, 48, and 72 h. At relatively, high concentrations (30, 40µM), SFN induced apoptosis. Moreover, SFN reduced the gene expression of ZEB1, fibronectin, and claudin-1 after 72 h. The expression of β-catenin revealed a timedependent decrease at the concentration of 40 µM SFN.


Downregulation of EMT markers and β-catenin showed accordance with the inhibition of migration. SFN could be a promising drug candidate to reduce metastasis in breast cancer.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Iranian Journal of Public Health, Volume:49 Issue:1, 2020
77 - 85  
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