Isothiocyanates (ITCs), naturally occurring in abundance in crucif erous vegetables, are the most wellstudied organosulfur com pounds having an electrophilic reactivity. ITCs have been accepted as major ingredients of these vegetables that afford their health promoting potentials. ITCs are able to modulate protein functions related to drugmetabolizing enzymes, transporters, kinases and phosphatases, etc. One of the most important questions about the molecular basis for the health promoting effects of ITCs is how they modulate cellular target proteins. Although the molec ular targets of ITCs remains to be validated, dietary modulation of the target proteins via covalent modification by ITCs should be one of the promising strategies for the protection of cells against oxidative and inflammatory damage. This review discusses the plausible target proteins of dietary ITCs with an emphasis on pos sible involvement of protein modification in their health promot ing effects. The fundamental knowledge of ITCs is also included with consideration of the chemistry, intracellular behavior, and metabolism.
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