Thymoquinone: An IRAK1 inhibitor with in vivo and in vitro anti-inflammatory activities.
Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 20 ;7:42995. Epub 2017 Feb 20. PMID: 28216638
Muhammad Jahangir Hossen
Thymoquinone (TQ) is a bioactive component of black seed (Nigella sativa) volatile oil and has been shown to have anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. In the present study, we explored the molecular mechanisms that underlie the anti-inflammatory effect of TQ and its target proteins using lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated murine macrophage-like RAW264.7 and human monocyte-like U937 cells, together with LPS/D-galactosamine (GalN)-induced acute hepatitis and HCl/EtOH-induced gastritis mouse models. TQ strongly inhibited the production of nitric oxide (NO) and repressed NO synthase (iNOS), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-1β expression in LPS-activated RAW264.7 cells. Treatment of LPS/D-GalN-induced hepatitis and EtOH/HCl-induced gastritis mouse models with TQ significantly ameliorated disease symptoms. Using luciferase reporter gene assays, we also showed thatthe nuclear levels of transcription factors and phosphorylation patterns of signaling proteins, activator protein (AP)-1, and nuclear factor (NF)-κB pathways were all affected by TQ treatment. Finally, we used additional kinase and luciferase validation assays with interleukin-1 receptor-associatedkinase 1 (IRAK1) to show that IRAK1 is directly suppressed by TQ treatment. Together, these findings strongly suggest that the anti-inflammatory actions of TQ are caused by suppression of IRAK-linked AP-1/NF-κB pathways.