Induction of epoxide hydrolase and glucuronosyl transferase by isothiocyanates and intact glucosinolates in precision-cut rat liver slices: importance of side-chain substituent and chirality

Ahmad Faizal Abdull Razis, Manuela Bagatta, Gina Rosalinda De Nicola, Renato Iori, Costas Ioannides
Archives of Toxicology 2011, 85 (8): 919-27
The potential of three isothiocyanates, namely R,S-sulforaphane, erucin and phenethyl isothiocyanate, of two naturally occurring glucosinolates, namely glucoerucin and glucoraphanin, and of the enantiomers of sulforaphane to modulate glucuronosyl transferase and epoxide hydrolase, two major carcinogen-metabolising enzyme systems, was investigated in precision-cut rat liver slices. Following exposure of the slices to the isothiocyanates (0-25 μM), erucin and phenethyl isothiocyanate, but not R,S-sulforaphane, elevated glucuronosyl transferase and epoxide hydrolase activities and expression, determined immunologically. Of the two enantiomers of sulforaphane, the R-enantiomer enhanced, whereas the S-enantiomer impaired, glucuronosyl transferase activity and only the former increased protein expression; furthermore, R-sulforaphane was more effective than the S-enantiomer in up-regulating microsomal epoxide hydrolase. When precision-cut rat liver slices were exposed to the same concentrations of glucoerucin and glucoraphanin, both glucosinolates caused a marked increase in the activity and expression of the microsomal epoxide hydrolase but had no effect on glucuronosyl transferase activity. It may be inferred that the ability of isothiocyanates to enhance hepatic microsomal epoxide hydrolase and glucuronosyl transferase activities is dependent on the nature of the side chain. Moreover, in the case of sulforaphane, the naturally occurring R-enantiomer increased both activities, whereas, in contrast, activities were impaired in the case of the S-enantiomer. Finally, intact glucosinolates are potent inducers of epoxide hydrolase and can thus contribute directly to the chemopreventive potential associated with cruciferous vegetable consumption.

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