Effect of dimethyl sulfides on the induction of apoptosis in human leukemia Jurkat cells and HL-60 cells

Gongliang Zhang, Haitao Wu, Beiwei Zhu, Yasuaki Shimoishi, Yoshimasa Nakamura, Yoshiyuki Murata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Organosulfur compounds have been established to possess anticancer effects. To provide a better understanding of the biological function of dimethyl sulfides, dimethyl monosulfide (Me2S), dimethyl disulfide (Me 2S2), dimethyl trisulfide (Me2S3) and dimethyl tetrasulfide (Me2S4) were used as experimental materials to investigate their effects on apoptosis induction in human leukemia Jurkat cells and HL-60 cells. Treatment with 20 μM dimethyl sulfides for 24 h decreased the viability of both cells. The cell viability-reducing effect of these sulfides was in the following order: Me2S4 ≈ Me 2S3 > Me2S2 ≈ Me2S for Jurkat cells and Me2S4 > Me2S 3 > Me2S2 ≈ Me2S for HL-60 cells. Me2S3 and Me2S4 significantly induced DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 activation. The addition of GSH or NAC completely suppressed the sulfide-induced apoptosis. Our results indicate that dimethyl sulfides with a larger number of sulfur atoms more strongly induced apoptosis in both human leukemia cells via ROS production and caspase-3 activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2966-2972
Number of pages7
JournalBioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Apoptosis
  • Dimethyl sulfide
  • HL-60
  • Jurkat
  • Reactive oxidative species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry


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