Development and application of a method for identification of isothiocyanate-targeted molecules in colon cancer cells

Noriyuki Miyoshi, Takumi Yonemochi, Susumu Tomono, Ryuuta Fukutomi, Yoshimasa Nakamura, Hiroshi Ohshima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we have developed a novel method to identify isothiocyanate (ITC)-targeted molecules using two well-studied ITCs: benzyl ITC (BITC) and phenethyl ITC (PEITC). The principle of this method is based on identifying a pattern of differences between BITC and PEITC given that they show similar chemical and biological behaviors. For method validation, dithiothreitol-reduced bovine insulin as a model molecule was incubated with either BITC or PEITC, and digested peptides were analyzed by ultra-performance liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-TOF-MS) and liquid chromatography quadrupole TOF-MS (LC-Q-TOF-MS). Three peptides - NYCN, FVNQHLCGSHLVE, and ALYLVCGE - were identified as being adducted with BITC or PEITC on their cysteine residues. Each set of peptides adducted with either BITC or PEITC showed retention times (RTBITC < RTPEITC) by reverse-phase column chromatography with a difference of molecular mass (Δ14.01565). On the basis of these findings, computational mathematical schemes were constructed to extract sets of MS ions satisfying the above criteria. Application of the developed method to an extract of ITC-treated human colon cancer HCT116 cells, thiocarbamoylation of cysteine residues of glutathione, and the N-terminal proline residues of PMFIVNTNVPR from macrophage migration inhibitory factor were successfully identified as one of the intracellular targets of ITCs. Moreover, the method also detected the thiocarbamoylated conjugates of ITCs with intracellular free cysteines and lysines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-131
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2012


  • Cancer chemoprevention
  • Isothiocyanate
  • LC-(Q)-TOF-MS
  • Thiocarbamoylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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