Benzyl isothiocyanate and its metabolites inhibit cell proliferation through protein modification in mouse preosteoclast RAW264.7 cells

Toshiyuki Nakamura, Chiharu Tsutsui, Yu Okuda, Naomi Abe-Kanoh, Saori Okazawa, Shintaro Munemasa, Yoshiyuki Murata, Yoji Kato, Yoshimasa Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC), derived from cruciferous vegetables, is an organosulfur compound exerting antiproliferative effects in several human cancer cells. In this study, we assessed BITC as a potential osteoclastogenesis inhibitor and investigated its underlying mechanism. BITC at 5 μM significantly decreased the viability of the osteoclast-like differentiating RAW264.7 cells, coinciding with the downregulation of the primary biomarkers for osteoclast differentiation, such as the tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase activity and nuclear factor of activated T-cells gene expression. Not only BITC but also its metabolites, inhibited cell proliferation in the normal RAW264.7 cells, suggesting that BITC shows an anti-osteoclastogenesis effect in vivo after its ingestion and metabolism, possibly through an antiproliferative action. Both BITC and its metabolites also enhanced the DNA fragmentation and the caspase-3 activity, whereas their higher concentrations tended to suppress these effects. BITC was intracellularly accumulated when the cells were treated with its metabolites via their degradation into the free form. A quantitative experiment using the proteolysis/high performance liquid chromatography technique showed that the amount of BITC-lysine thiourea in the cells was also increased in a time-dependent manner, suggesting that lysine modification of the cellular proteins actually took place in the cells treated by BITC. Among the cellular proteins, the cleaved caspase-3 was identified as a potential target for lysine modification by BITC. Taken together, BITC dissociated from its metabolites as well as its free form might modulate osteoclastogenesis, possibly through inhibition of cell proliferation by protein modification.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • benzyl isothiocyanate
  • caspase-3
  • metabolites
  • osteoclastogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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