Enhancement of broccoli indole glucosinolates by methyl jasmonate treatment and effects on prostate carcinogenesis

Ann G. Liu, John A. Juvik, Elizabeth H. Jeffery, Lisa D. Berman-Booty, Steven K. Clinton, John W. Erdman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Broccoli is rich in bioactive components, such as sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, which may impact cancer risk. The glucosinolate profile of broccoli can be manipulated through treatment with the plant stress hormone methyl jasmonate (MeJA). Our objective was to produce broccoli with enhanced levels of indole glucosinolates and determine its impact on prostate carcinogenesis. Brassica oleracea var. Green Magic was treated with a 250 μM MeJA solution 4 days prior to harvest. MeJA-treated broccoli had significantly increased levels of glucobrassicin, neoglucobrassicin, and gluconasturtiin (P < .05). Male transgenic adenocarcinoma of mouse prostate (TRAMP) mice (n = 99) were randomized into three diet groups at 5-7 weeks of age: AIN-93G control, 10% standard broccoli powder, or 10% MeJA broccoli powder. Diets were fed throughout the study until termination at 20 weeks of age. Hepatic CYP1A was induced with MeJA broccoli powder feeding, indicating biological activity of the indole glucosinolates. Following ∼ 15 weeks on diets, neither of the broccoli treatments significantly altered genitourinary tract weight, pathologic score, or metastasis incidence, indicating that broccoli powder at 10% of the diet was ineffective at reducing prostate carcinogenesis in the TRAMP model. Whereas broccoli powder feeding had no effect in this model of prostate cancer, our work demonstrates the feasibility of employing plant stress hormones exogenously to stimulate changes in phytochemical profiles, an approach that may be useful for optimizing bioactive component patterns in foods for chronic-disease-prevention studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1177-1182
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of medicinal food
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Brassica oleracea
  • indole glucosinolates
  • indole-3-carbinol
  • neoglucobrassicin
  • sulforaphane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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