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Biochemical and biophysical research communications

NADPH quinone oxidoreductase 1 mediates breast cancer cell resistance to thymoquinone-induced apoptosis.


PMID 22960073

Abstract

Thymoquinone (TQ), a bioactive component of black caraway seed (Nigella sativa) oil, is reported to have antineoplastic properties. In this study we investigated the effect of TQ on a panel of human breast cancer cell lines. Cell viability assays showed that TQ killed T-47D, MDA-MB-231, and MDA-MB-468 cells via p53-independent induction of apoptosis; however, MCF-7 cells were refractory to the cytotoxic action of TQ. Western Blot analysis showed that MCF-7 cells expressed high levels of cytoprotective NADPH quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), which was responsible for TQ-resistance since inhibition of NQO1 with dicoumarol rendered MCF-7 cells TQ-sensitive. These findings may be clinically important when considering TQ as a possible adjunct treatment for breast cancer since a high percentage of breast tumors express NQO1.

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