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Radiosensitization in human breast carcinoma cells by thymoquinone: role of cell cycle and apoptosis

Authors

  • Reelma Velho-Pereira,

    1. Department of Pharmacology, Bombay College of Pharmacy, Mumbai University, Mumbai, India
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  • Amit Kumar,

    1. Radiation and Cancer Biology Section, Radiation Biology and Health Sciences Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai 400 085, India
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  • Badri N. Pandey,

    1. Radiation and Cancer Biology Section, Radiation Biology and Health Sciences Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai 400 085, India
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  • Aarti G. Jagtap,

    1. Department of Pharmacology, Bombay College of Pharmacy, Mumbai University, Mumbai, India
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  • Kaushala P. Mishra

    Corresponding author
    1. Radiation and Cancer Biology Section, Radiation Biology and Health Sciences Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai 400 085, India
    2. Nehru Gram Bharati University, Allahabad 221505, India
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To whom correspondence should be addressed (email mishra_kaushala@rediffmail.com or mishradrkp@gmail.com).

Abstract

TQ (thymoquinone), the bioactive constituent of black seed (Nigella sativa), has been shown to inhibit the growth of various human cancers both in vitro and in vivo. This study reports the radiosensitizing effect of TQ on human breast carcinoma cells (MCF7 and T47D). TQ in combination with single dose of ionizing radiation (2.5 Gy) was found to exert supra-additive cytotoxic effects on both the carcinomas as measured by cell proliferation and colony-formation assays. Annexin V binding and FACS analysis revealed the role of enhanced apoptosis and cell cycle modulation in the mechanism of TQ-mediated radiosensitization, thus supporting TQ as an adjuvant for preclinical testing in cancer chemo-radiotherapy.

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