Background: Sulforaphane (SF, 1-isothiocyanato-4-(methyl-sulfinyl)-butane) is found in broccoli,
cabbage and cauliflower.
Methods: we performed a critical review on the antioxidative, chemopreventive and antitumor effects of SF from
cruciferous vegetables against prostate cancers and molecular pathways. For a complete and reliable review,
primary and secondary resources were used, including original and review articles, books and government documents
published until March 2018. Articles that are in duplicity and disconnected are not considered for review.
SF is derived from glucoraphanin (4-methyl-sulfinyl-butyl-glucosinate), being one of the most commonly found
isothiocyanates in vegetables from Brassica spp., especially in broccoli samples. In vitro studies indicate that SF
induces apoptosis in a dependent or non-dependent method of androgens by transcription of tumor suppressor
genes, oxidation response and higher expression of phase II enzymes in prostate cancer cells. Sulforaphane also
decreases transcription of the nuclear factor kB and antiapoptotic proteins, expression of cyclin D2 and survivin
and DNA synthesis, increases Nrf2 gene activity, interferes with genome compacting by inhibition of histone
deacetylases and disrupts Hsp90 complexes, which cause cell cycle arrest, mitosis interruption, activation of
caspases and mitochondria depolarization.
Conclusion: SF and cruciferous vegetables play antioxidative and chemopreventive role, delaying or blocking in
vivo carcinogenesis, causing biochemical and epigenetic changes, preventing, delaying, or reversing preneoplastic
or advanced prostate lesions, and frequently activating tumor cell death by intrinsic methods of apoptosis. These
outcomes encourage the consumption of Brassica specimens, which could be easily achieved by the incorporation
of food and vegetables rich in cruciferous isothiocyanates in the diet.