Indole-3-Carbinol Prevents PTEN Loss in Cervical Cancer In Vivo
Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is a phytochemical (derived from broccoli, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables) with proven anticancer efficacy including the reduction of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and its progression to cervical cancer. In a breast cancer cell line, I3C inhibited cell adhesion, spreading, and invasion associated with an upregulation of the tumor suppressor gene PTEN, suggesting that PTEN is important in inhibition of late stages in the development of cancer. The goal of this study was to determine the expression of PTEN during the development of cervical cancer and whether I3C affected expression of PTEN in vivo. We show diminished PTEN expression during the progression from low-grade to high-grade cervical dysplasia in humans and in a mouse model for cervical cancer, the K14HPV16 transgenic mice promoted with estrogen. The implication is that loss of PTEN function is required for this transition. Additionally, dietary I3C increased PTEN expression in the cervical epithelium of the transgenic mouse, an observation that suggests PTEN upregulation by I3C is one mechanism by which I3C inhibits development of cervical cancer.
This study is supported by NCI grant R01CA73385 to K.A.
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