Copper serves as a limiting factor for multiple steps of tumour progression, including angiogenesis, growth and metastasis. High levels of copper have been found in a wide spectrum of human cancers. Antitumour activities of copper-chelating drugs have been reported in animal models. Organosulfur compounds (diallyl sulfi de, DAS; diallyl disulfi de, DADS; S-ethylcysteine, SEC; N-acetylcysteine, NAC) derived from garlic exhibit marked copper- chelating activity. We analysed a mixture of fi fteen n-propyl polysulfi des (DPPS) for potential antitumour activity against several murine tumour cell lines, including colon carcinoma (CT26), mammary carcinoma (4T1) and melanoma cell lines (B16F10), and compared the eff ects with the antiproliferative eff ect in highly proliferative murine mesenchymal stem cells (mMSCs). Th e eff ects of the mixture of n-propyl polysulfi des (100%) on cell viability were determined using MTT assays. Cell apoptosis was analysed using Annexin V-FITC/PI assays. Th e results of the MTT assays indicate that this standardized mixture of n-propyl polysulfi des has a strong, dose-dependent cytotoxic eff ect against all three of the tested tumour cell lines (CT26, 4T1, B16F10). Th e cytotoxic eff ect of the n-propyl polysulfi de mixture against the CT26 and B16F10 cell lines was much stronger than that of cisplatin and was signifi cantly weaker in mMSCs, which are non-cancerous and highly proliferative cells, than in cancer cells. Flow cytometric analysis of CT26 and 4T1 cells revealed that apoptosis was not the dominant mechanism of cell death induced by the n-propyl polysulfi de mixture. Th e n-propyl polysulfi de mixture exerted highly cytotoxic activity against murine colon carcinoma and melanoma cell lines, but its antiproliferative activity against mMSCs was signifi cantly lower than that of cisplatin.
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