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Abstract Title:

Thymol induces mitochondrial pathway-mediated apoptosis via ROS generation, macromolecular damage and SOD diminution in A549 cells.

Abstract Source:

Pharmacol Rep. 2020 Oct 23. Epub 2020 Oct 23. PMID: 33095436

Abstract Author(s):

Devasahayam Jaya Balan, Tamilselvam Rajavel, Mamali Das, Sethuraman Sathya, Mahalingam Jeyakumar, Kasi Pandima Devi

Article Affiliation:

Devasahayam Jaya Balan

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Thymol is a monoterpene phenol found in thyme species plants. The present study was carried out to investigate the effect of thymol and its molecular mechanism on non-small lung cancer (A549) cells.

METHODS: The cytotoxic effect of thymol on A549 cells was assessed via MTT assay. ROS production, macromolecular damage, apoptosis were determined using DCF-DA, PI, AO/EtBr stains, respectively. ROS-dependent effect of thymol was confirmed using NAC. The expression of caspase-9, Bcl-2, Bax and cell cycle profile was analyzed via western blot and FACS, respectively.

RESULTS: The antiproliferative effect of thymol on A549 cells was found to be both dose and time dependent with ICvalues of 112 μg/ml (745 μM) at 24 h. Thymol treatment favored apoptotic cell death and caused G0/G1 cell cycle arrest. It mediated cellular and nuclear morphological changes, phosphatidylserine translocation, and mitochondrial membrane depolarization. Additionally, upregulation of Bax, downregulation of Bcl-2, and apoptotic fragmented DNA were also observed. Thymol induced ROS by reducing the SOD level which was confirmed via in vitro and in silico analysis. Furthermore, the levels of lipid peroxides and protein carbonyl content were elevated in thymol-treated groups. Notably, N-acetyl cysteine pretreatment reversed the efficacy of thymol on A549 cells. Moreover, thymol-treated human PBMC cells did not show any significant cytotoxicity.

CONCLUSION: Overall, our results confirmed that thymol can act as a safe and potent therapeutic agent to treat NSCLC.

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