Reduced formation of depurinating estrogen-DNA adducts by sulforaphane or KEAP1 disruption in human mammary epithelial MCF-10A cells

Li Yang, Muhammad Zahid, Yong Liao, Eleanor G. Rogan, Ercole L. Cavalieri, Nancy E. Davidson, James D. Yager, Kala Visvanathan, John D. Groopman, Thomas W. Kensler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Sulforaphane (SFN) is a potent inducer of detoxication enzymes such as NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) via the Kelch-like erythroid-derived protein with CNC homology-associated protein 1 (Keap1)-NFE2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling pathway. NQO1 reduces the carcinogenic estrogen metabolite, catechol estrogen-3,4-quinone, whereas GSTs detoxify it through conjugation with glutathione. These 3,4-quinones can react with DNA to form depurinating DNA adducts. Thus, SFN may alter estrogen metabolism and thus protect against estrogen-mediated DNA damage and carcinogenesis. Human breast epithelial MCF-10A cells were treated with either vehicle or SFN and either estradiol (E2) or its metabolite 4-hydroxyestradiol (4-OHE2). 4-Hydroxy-derived estrogen metabolites and depurinating DNA adducts formed from E2 and its interconvertable metabolite estrone (E1) were analyzed by mass spectrometry. Levels of the depurinated adducts, 4-OHE1/2-1-N3Adenine and 4-OHE1/2-1-N7Guanine, were reduced by 60% in SFN-treated cells, whereas levels of 4-OCH3E1/2 and 4-OHE1/2-glutathione conjugates increased. To constitutively enhance the expression of Nrf2-regulated genes, cells were treated with either scrambled or siKEAP1 RNA. Following E2 or 4-OHE2 treatments, levels of the adenine and guanine adducts dropped 60-70% in siKEAP1-treated cells, whereas 4-OHE1/2-glutathione conjugates increased. However, 4-OCH3E1/2 decreased 50% after siKEAP1 treatment. Thus, treatment with SFN or siKEAP1 has similar effects on reduction of depurinating estrogen-DNA adduct levels following estrogen challenge. However, these pharmacologic and genetic approaches have different effects on estrogen metabolism to O-methyl and glutathione conjugates. Activation of the Nrf2 pathway, especially elevated NQO1, may account for some but not all of the protective effects of SFN against estrogen-mediated DNA damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2587-2592
Number of pages6
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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