Broccoli Contains Compound That Can Kill Yeast
- Broccoli is a common edible green plant in the family Brassicaceae with all of the parts eaten as vegetable.
- A compound called 3,3’-diindolylmethane or DIM can be obtained from the digestion of indole-3-carbinol, found in broccoli.
- DIM promotes cell death and autophagy in some human cancer.
- Autophagy refers to the natural process of cell degradation by which unnecessary or non-functional cellular components are removed or recycled.
- DIM extends lifespan in the yeast called Schizosaccharomyces pombe.
- S. pombe, often called fission yeast, is a species of yeast used in traditional brewing.
- However, the way by which DIM promotes cell destruction in humans and extends lifespan in S. pombe are not very well understood.
- Researchers show that DIM promotes cell destruction in log-phase cells which is dose-dependent.
- .Log-phase is the period by which cells exponentially increase in number.
- Researchers discovered that when high concentration of DIM was added, the cell’s nuclear envelope was disrupted and the chromosome tightly packed at an early stage.
- On the other hand, when low concentration of DIM was added, cells were degraded but did not cause disruption on the nuclear envelope.
- Cells defective in autophagy were more vulnerable to the low concentration of DIM which suggest the autophagic pathway contributes to the cell’s survival against DIM.
- Additionally, researchers discovered that the cells with lem2 mutation are more sensitive to DIM.
- Lem2 is a protein that regulates the size of the cell’s nuclear envelope.
- The nuclear envelope of cells with lem2 mutation was disrupted even at low DIM concentration.
- The results highlight the importance of autophagic pathway and nuclear envelope integrity in maintaining cell viability during exposure to low DIM concentration.
- Researchers speculated that the process of cell death and autophagy induce by DIM are conserved in humans and S. pombe.
- Future studies are needed to understand more about the DIM being able to induce cell death and autophagy in humans and S. pombe.
Emami P, Ueno M (2021) 3,3’-Diindolylmethane induces apoptosis and autophagy in fission yeast. PLoS ONE 16(12): e0255758. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0255758