Published online Feb 27, 2014. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v6.i2.98
Revised: December 2, 2013
Accepted: December 12, 2013
Published online: February 27, 2014
AIM: To investigate the effect of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), recently reported to have anti-cancer effects, in liver cancer cells and transgenic mice.
METHODS: Three liver cancer cell lines, HepG2, Huh7-Mock and Huh7-H-rasG12V, were used. Cell growth was measured by Cell Counting Kit-8 and soft agar assay. Western blot analysis was used to detect caspases, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), and B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) expressions. For in vivo study, we administered MSM to H-ras12V transgenic mice for 3 mo.
RESULTS: MSM decreased the growth of HepG2, Huh7-Mock and Huh7-H-rasG12V cells in a dose-dependent manner. That was correlated with significantly increased apoptosis and reduced cell numbers in MSM treated cells. Cleaved caspase-8, cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved PARP were remarkably increased in the liver cancer cells treated with 500 mmol/L of MSM; however, Bcl-2 was slightly decreased in 500 mmol/L. Liver tumor development was greatly inhibited in the H-ras12V transgenic mice treated with MSM, compared to control, by showing reduced tumor size and number. Cleaved PARP was significantly increased in non-tumor treated with MSM compared to control.
CONCLUSION: Liver injury was also significantly attenuated in the mice treated with MSM. Taken together, all the results suggest that MSM has anti-cancer effects through inducing apoptosis in liver cancer.
Core tip: Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an organic sulfur-containing compound. MSM suppressed hepatic tumor growth through activation of apoptosis. MSM could be a potential candidate as an anti-liver cancer agent.