Is thymoquinone promising anticancer agent in hepatoma cell line?
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The biological activity ofNigella sativaseeds is mainly attributedto its essential oil component which is pre-dominantly (30–48%)thymoquinone (TQ). Therapeutic effect of TQ was exhibited inmany diseases including inflammation, cancer, sepsis, atheroscle-rosis and diabetes. TQ has been reported to exhibit antiprolifera-tive effects on cell lines derived from breast, colon, ovary, larynx,lung, myeloblastic leukemia, and osteosarcoma and inhibited hor-mone refractory prostate cancer. TQ induces apoptosis in tumorcells by suppressing NF-jB, Akt activation, and extracellular sig-nal-regulated kinase signaling pathways and also inhibits tumorangiogenesis.The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti tumor effects ofTQ on hepatoma cells. These antitumor assays include cell viabil-ity assay, clonogenic assay, scratch assay and molecular expres-sion studies of death related genes. Cells were treated withdifferent concentration of TQ in Hep3B for cell proliferation byMTT and clonogenic assay. In addition, the metastatic characterof TQ was investigated by scratch assay in Hep3b at 3–6 and24 hours. The effect of TQ was also evaluated at mRNA level byreal-time-PCR. TQ was treated on the Hep3B cells in three dif-ferent concentration, namely 75–50 and 37.5lM.TQ showed the cell cytotoxicity in concentration and timedependent manner. The scratch assay revealed no healing in thescratched area due to the decreased cell viability. Maximum per-missible dose was 50lM. Proapoptotic genes, Bax and Bad, andautophagy genes, Beclin-1 and LC3, were upregulated in Hep3Bcells after 24 hours treatment In contrast, antiapoptotic gene,Bcl-2, expression level was decreased for Hep3B cells after24 hours.