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VOLUME 15, 2014  Issue Number 22 , 9655-9660
DownLoad : 9655-9660 7.6 Mohammed I Alhazmi.pdf
Roles of p53 and Caspases in Induction of Apoptosis in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells Treated with a Methanolic Extract of Nigella Sativa Seeds
Mohammed I Alhazmi et al
Background: Nigella Sativa (NS) is an herb from the Ranunculaceae family that exhibits numerous medicinal
properties and has been used as important constituent of many complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs).
The ability of NS to kill cancer cells such as PC3, HeLa and hepatoma cells is well established. However, our
understanding of the mode of death caused by NS remains nebulous. The objective of this study was to gain
further insight into the mode and mechanism of death caused by NS in breast cancer MCF-7 cells. Materials
and Methods: Human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) were treated with a methanolic extract of NS, and a dose- and
time-dependent study was performed. The IC50 was calculated using a Cell Titer Blue® viability assay assay, and
evidence for DNA fragmentation was obtained by fluorescence microscopy TUNEL assay. Gene expression was
also profiled for a number of apoptosis-related genes (Caspase-3, -8, -9 and p53 genes) through qPCR. Results:
The IC50 of MCF-7 cells was 62.8μL/mL. When MCF-7 cells were exposed to 50 μL/mL and 100 μL/mL NS for
24h, 48h and 72h, microscopic examination (TUNEL assay) revealed a dose- and time-dependent increase in
apoptosis. Similarly, the expression of the Caspase-3, -8, -9 and p53 genes increased significantly according to the
dose and time. Conclusions: NS induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells through both the p53 and caspase pathways.
NS could potentially represent an alternative source of medicine for breast cancer therapy.
Key Words: Nigella sativa seeds - MCF-7 cells - anticancer, apoptosis - p53 - caspases-3, 8, 9
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