Thymoquinone (TQ), derived from the seeds of Nigella sativa, has lately been shown as a
miracle drug because of its wide range of therapeutic effects against various diseases, including cancer,
asthma, diabetes, colitis and infectious diseases. In the present review, we aimed to decipher the molecular
mechanisms of therapeutic action of TQ by modulating the cell signaling pathways. Many
in vivo and in vitro studies have demonstrated the therapeutic efficacy of TQ against a wide range of
ailments. TQ possesses potent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects by specifically targeting
the NF-kB, IL-1β and TNF-α signaling pathways. The anticancer activity of TQ has been primarily
shown by altering the expression of signal transducers and activator transcription (STAT3), PTEN and
p53 genes. TQ alleviates the hyperglycemia-associated complications, the hepatic or renal ailments
through its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Interestingly, the liposome- or
nanoparticle-based TQ formulations have shown greater effectiveness against various diseases in animal
models. Thus, the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of TQ action may lead to the development
of its therapeutic formulations to cure a wide variety of diseases.
Keywords: Thymoquinone, cell signaling pathways, drug-delivery, herbal medicine, Nigella sativa, ROS.
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport