Reverse Screening Bioinformatics Approach to Identify Potential Anti Breast Cancer Targets Using Thymoquinone from Neutraceuticals Black Cumin Oil

Author(s): Sumathi Sundaravadivelu*, Sonia K. Raj, Banupriya S. Kumar, Poornima Arumugamand, Padma P. Ragunathan

Journal Name: Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry
(Formerly Current Medicinal Chemistry - Anti-Cancer Agents)

Volume 19 , Issue 5 , 2019

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Graphical Abstract:


Background: Functional foods, neutraceuticals and natural antioxidants have established their potential roles in the protection of human health and diseases. Thymoquinone (TQ), the main bioactive component of Nigella sativa seeds (black cumin seeds), a plant derived neutraceutical was used by ancient Egyptians because of their ability to cure a variety of health conditions and used as a dietary food supplement. Owing to its multi targeting nature, TQ interferes with a wide range of tumorigenic processes and counteracts carcinogenesis, malignant growth, invasion, migration, and angiogenesis. Additionally, TQ can specifically sensitize tumor cells towards conventional cancer treatments (e.g., radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy) and simultaneously minimize therapy-associated toxic effects in normal cells besides being cost effective and safe. TQ was found to play a protective role when given along with chemotherapeutic agents to normal cells.

Methods: In the present study, reverse in silico docking approach was used to search for potential molecular targets for cancer therapy. Various metastatic and apoptotic targets were docked with the target ligand. TQ was also tested for its anticancer activities for its ability to cause cell death, arrest cell cycle and ability to inhibit PARP gene expression.

Results: In silico docking studies showed that TQ effectively docked metastatic targets MMPs and other apoptotic and cell proliferation targets EGFR. They were able to bring about cell death mediated by apoptosis, cell cycle arrest in the late apoptotic stage and induce DNA damage too. TQ effectively down regulated PARP gene expression which can lead to enhanced cancer cell death.

Conclusion: Thymoquinone a neutraceutical can be employed as a new therapeutic agent to target triple negative breast cancer which is otherwise difficult to treat as there are no receptors on them. Can be employed along with standard chemotherapeutic drugs to treat breast cancer as a combinatorial therapy.

Keywords: Neutraceuticals, thymoquinone, cancer targets, PARP gene, chemotherapeutic drugs, black cumin oil.

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Article Details

Year: 2019
Page: [599 - 609]
Pages: 11
DOI: 10.2174/1871520619666190124155359
Price: $65

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