Indole-3-carbinol inhibits nasopharyngeal carcinoma growth through cell cycle arrest in vivo and in vitro.
PLoS One. 2013 ;8(12):e82288. Epub 2013 Dec 16. PMID: 24358165
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is a common malignant tumor in the head and neck. Because of frequent recurrence and distant metastasis which are the main causes of death, better treatment is needed. Indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a natural phytochemical found in the vegetables of the cruciferous family, shows anticancer effect through various signal pathways. I3C induces G1 arrest in NPC cell line with downregulation of cell cycle-related proteins, such as CDK4, CDK6, cyclin D1 and pRb. In vivo, nude mice receiving I3C protectively or therapeutically exhibited smaller tumors than control group after they were inoculated with nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells. The expression of CDK4, CDK6, cyclin D1 and pRb in preventive treatment group and drug treatment group both decreased compared with the control group. We conclude that I3C can inhibit the growth of NPC in vitro and in vivo by suppressing the expression of CDK and cyclin families. The drug was safe and had no toxic effects on normal tissues and organs.