Thymol elicits HCT-116 colorectal carcinoma cell death through induction of oxidative stress.
Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2017 Mar 27. Epub 2017 Mar 27. PMID: 28356011
Anil Kumar Chauhan
Colon cancer is one of the most deadly and common carcinomas occurring worldwide, and there have been many attempts to treat this cancer. The present work was designed in order to evaluate thymol as a potent drug against colon cancer. Cytotoxicity of thymol at different concentrations was evaluated against a human colon carcinoma cell line (HCT-116 cells). Fluorescent staining was carried out to evaluate the level of ROS as well as mitochondrial and DNA fragmentation and immunoblot analysis were performed to confirm apoptosis and mitoptosis. Results of the study demonstrated that thymol efficiently created an oxidative stress environment inside HCT-116 cells, a colorectal carcinoma cell line, through induction of ROS production along with intense damage to DNA and mitochondria, as observed through Hoechst and rhodamine 123 staining, respectively. Moreover, expression of caspase-3, PARP-1, p-JNK, and cytochrome-C proteins was up-regulated, suggesting HCT-116 cells underwent mitoptotic cell death. Therefore, thymol could be used as a potent drug against colon cancer due to its lower toxicity and prevalence in natural medicinal plants.