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Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1871-5206
ISSN (Online): 1875-5992

Research Article

Inhibition of Proliferation and Induction of Apoptosis by Thymoquinone via Modulation of TGF Family, p53, p21 and Bcl-2α in Leukemic Cells

Author(s): Mona Diab-Assaf, Josiane Semaan, Marwan El-Sabban, Soad K. Al Jaouni, Rania Azar, Mohammad Amjad Kamal and Steve Harakeh*

Volume 18 , Issue 2 , 2018

Page: [210 - 215] Pages: 6

DOI: 10.2174/1871520617666170912133054

Price: $65


Introduction: Adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) is an aggressive form of malignancy caused by human T- cell lymphotropic virus 1 (HTLV-1). Currently, there is no effective treatment for ATL. Thymoquinone has been reported to have anti-cancer properties.

Objective: The aim of this study is to investigatthe effects of TQ on proliferation, apoptosis induction and the underlying mechanism of action in both HTLV-1 positive (C91-PL and HuT-102) and HTLV-1 negative (CEM and Jurkat) malignant T-lymphocytes.

Materials and methods: Cells were incubated with different thymoquinone concentrations for 24h. Cell cytotoxicity was assayed using the CytoTox 96® Non-Radioactive Cytotoxicity Assay Kit. Cell proliferation was determined using CellTiter 96® Non-Radioactive Cell Proliferation. Cell cycle analysis was performed by staining with propidium iodide. Apoptosis was assessed using cell death ELISA kit. The effect of TQ on p53, p21, Bcl-2 protein expression was determined using Western blot analysis while TGF mRNA expression was determined by RT-PCR.

Results: At non-cytotoxic concentrations of TQ, it resulted in the inhibition of proliferation in a dose dependent manner. Flow cytometric analysis revealed a shift in the cell cycle distribution to the PreG1 phase which is a marker of apoptosis. Also TQ increase DNA fragmentation. TQ mediated its anti-proliferative effect and apoptosis induction by an up-regulation of TGFβ1, p53 and p21 and a down-regulation of TGF-α and Bcl-2α.

Conclusion: Thymoquinone presents antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects in ATL cells. For this reason, further research is required to investigate its possible application in the treatment of ATL.

Keywords: Thymoquinone, HTLV-1, ATL, TGF family, p53, p21 and Bcl-2α.

Graphical Abstract

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