Thymoquinone Inhibits Tumor Growth and Induces Apoptosis in a Breast Cancer Xenograft Mouse Model: The Role of p38 MAPK and ROS

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Article on thymoquinone inhibiting tumor growth and inducing apoptosis in a breast cancer xenograft mouse model and the role of p38 MAPK and ROS.

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13 p.: ill.

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Woo, Chern Chiuh; Hsu, Annie; Kumar, Alan Prem; Sethi, Gautam & Tan, Benny K-H October 2, 2013.

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Article on thymoquinone inhibiting tumor growth and inducing apoptosis in a breast cancer xenograft mouse model and the role of p38 MAPK and ROS.

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13 p.: ill.

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Abstract: Due to narrow therapeutic window of cancer therapeutic agents and the development of resistance against these agents, there is a need to discover novel agents to treat breast cancer. The antitumor activities of thymoquinone (TQ), a compound isolated from Nigella sativa oil, were investigated in breast carcinoma in vitro and in vivo. Cell responses after TQ treatment were assessed by using different assays including MTT assay, annexin V-propidium iodide staining, Mitosox staining and Western blot. The antitumor effect was studied by breast tumor xenograft mouse model, and the tumor tissues were examined by histology and immunohistochemistry. The level of antioxidant enzymes/molecules in mouse liver tissues was measured by commercial kits. Here, we show that TQ induced p38 phosphorylation and ROS production in breast cancer cells. These inductions were found to be responsible for TQ's anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects. Moreover, TQ-induced ROS production regulated p38 phosphorylation but not vice versa. TQ treatment was found to suppress the tumor growth and this effect was further enhanced by combination with doxorubicin. TQ also inhibited the protein expression of anti-apoptotic genes, such as XIAP, survivin, Bcl-xL and Bcl-2, in breast cancer cells and breast tumor xenograft. Reduced Ki67 and increased TUNEL staining were observed in TQ-treated tumors. TQ was also found to increase the level of catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione in mouse liver tissues. Overall, our results demonstrated that the anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of TQ in breast cancer are mediated through p38 phosphorylation via ROS generation.

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  • PLoS One, 2012, San Francisco: Public Library of Science

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  • Publication Title: PLoS One
  • Volume: 8
  • Issue: 10
  • Pages: 14
  • Peer Reviewed: Yes

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UNT Scholarly Works

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  • October 2, 2013

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  • May 7, 2014, 12:22 a.m.

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  • Aug. 29, 2014, 10:05 a.m.

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Woo, Chern Chiuh; Hsu, Annie; Kumar, Alan Prem; Sethi, Gautam & Tan, Benny K-H. Thymoquinone Inhibits Tumor Growth and Induces Apoptosis in a Breast Cancer Xenograft Mouse Model: The Role of p38 MAPK and ROS, article, October 2, 2013; [San Francisco, California]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284561/: accessed April 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.