Role of Iodine in Apoptosis and Cancer

Apoptosis or programmed and highly controlled cell suicidal event. In case of multicellular organisms whenever group of cells make a threat to the respective organism or group of cells that are no longer needed to respective organism then to protect the organism from the unwanted apoptosis occurs. That why apoptosis is a crucial part for the treatment of tumor and cancer cells.

Iodine plays a vital role for the induction of independent apoptosis in cancer cells and tumor cells. This role of iodine is considered as extra thyroidal benefits of iodine.

In vitro it is observed by Zhang and co workers that induction of apoptosis process by iodine in modified cancer cell can kill 95% of cancerous cell. This lung cancer cell was modified with genes which enhance the uptake of iodine and iodination process of protein. When the same experiment was performed in mice great success was observed as iodine suppress abnormal growth of genetically manipulated xenografts (Zhang et al, 2005).

Mekabu(seaweed),a rich source of iodine has been also found to induce apoptosis process in breast cancer cell. Effect of Mekabu on cultured breast cancer cell was studied by Sekiy et al. It was observed that by activating caspases 3, 6 and 8 Mekabu induces apoptosis process into cultured breast cancer cell (Sekiya et al, 2005). Another experiment has been done by Shivastava and co worker recently, which showed apoptosis process can be initiated by molecular iodine (I2) in the breast cancer cells of women by using caspase – which is considered as an independent and mitochondrial mediated apoptotic pathways (Shrivastava et al, 2006). Iodine showed effective and successful result when it shows its preventing capability against breast cancer cells in rats. Garcia Solis and co worked observed this successful experiment when rats are given with nitrosomethyl urea carcinogen.