Candidate dietary phytochemicals modulate expression of phase II enzymes GSTP1 and NQO1 in human lung cells

Xiang Lin Tan, Miao Shi, Hui Tang, Weiguo Han, Simon D. Spivack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Many phytochemicals possess cancer-preventive properties, some putatively through phase II metabolism-mediated mutagen/oxidant quenching. We applied human lung cells in vitro to investigate the effects of several candidate phytopreventive agents, including green tea extracts (GTE), broccoli sprout extracts (BSE), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), sulforaphane (SFN), phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), and benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC), on inducing phase II enzymes glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1) and NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) at mRNA and protein levels. Primary normal human bronchial epithelial cells (NHBE), immortalized human bronchial epithelial cells (HBEC), and lung adenocarcinoma cells (A549) were exposed to diet-achievable levels of GTE and BSE (0.5, 1.0, 2.0 mg/L), or individual index components EGCG, SFN, PEITC, BITC (0.5, 1.0, 2.0 μmol/L) for 24 h, 48 h, and 6 d, respectively. mRNA assays employed RNA-specific quantitative RT-PCR and protein assays employed Western blotting. We found that in NHBE cells, while GSTP1 mRNA levels were slightly but significantly increased after exposure to GTE or BSE, NQO1 mRNA increased to 2- to 4-fold that of control when exposed to GTE, BSE, or SFN. Effects on NQO1 mRNA expression in HBEC cells were similar. NQO1 protein expression increased up to 11.8-fold in SFN-treated NHBE cells. Both GSTP1 and NQO1 protein expression in A549 cells were constitutively high but not induced under any condition. Our results suggest that NQO1 is more responsive to the studied chemopreventive agents than GSTP1 in human lung cells and there is discordance between single agent and complex mixture effects. We conclude that modulation of lung cell phase II metabolism by chemopreventive agents requires cell- and agent-specific discovery and testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1404-1410
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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