High mutagenic activity of juice from pak choi (Brassica rapa ssp. chinensis) sprouts due to its content of 1-methoxy-3-indolylmethyl glucosinolate, and its enhancement by elicitation with methyl jasmonate.
Cruciferous vegetables have the reputation to protect against cancer, an effect attributed to glucosinolates (GLS) and their breakdown products. However, some GLS are mutagenic, an activity associated with cancer initiation rather than chemoprevention. We show that juices from steamed pak choi sprouts are strongly mutagenic in Salmonella typhimurium TA100 upon addition of fresh myrosinase. Growth of the plants in the presence of methyl jasmonate, a hormone eliciting defence factors, led to 21-fold enhanced mutagenic activity. The level of 1-methoxy-3-indolylmethyl (1-MIM)-GLS was similarly increased, whereas those of other GLS were only elevated 0.8- to 3.2-fold. 1-MIM-GLS is a potent mutagen, whose activity is further enhanced by human sulphotransferase 1A1 (hSULT1A1)-an activation not observed with other GLS. The mutagenicity of the pak choi juices was increased 20-fold in bacteria expressing hSULT1A1. A tiny level of juice from elicitated sprouts, 0.04% in the mutagenicity assay, was sufficient to double the number of revertants above the spontaneous level. We conclude that pak choi juice is mutagenic, an activity that can be strongly affected by the growth conditions. It is owed essentially to a single component, 1-MIM-GLS. We recommend using cultivars, growth conditions and/or food preparations that keep the level of this GLS congener low.
Wiesner, M.; Schreiner, M.; Glatt, H. 2014. High mutagenic activity of juice from pak choi (Brassica rapa ssp. chinensis) sprouts due to its content of 1-methoxy-3-indolylmethyl glucosinolate, and its enhancement by elicitation with methyl jasmonate. Food and Chemical Toxicology 67, 10-16.