Oncol Rep 2016 Oct 12;36(4):2261-7. Epub 2016 Aug 12.
Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Keimyung University, Daegu 704-701, Republic of Korea.
Renal carcinoma is a common and frequently fatal carcinoma occurring worldwide and death rates due to this carcinoma are increasing with time. In the present study, we investigated the potential of thymoquinone a natural compound to induce apoptosis in renal carcinoma Caki cells. Thymoquinone efficiently enhanced the apoptotic population of Caki cells in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, thymoquinone-mediated apoptosis caused downregulation of c-FLIP and Bcl-2, the master regulators of the anti-apoptotic mechanism. However, we did not find any changes in mRNA expression level of c-FLIP, therefore; this regulation of c-FLIP was a result of post-translation modification by thymoquinone. In contrast, expression of the Bcl-2 protein was observed at both transcriptional and translational level. However, we also observed that thymoquinone enhanced the level of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in Caki cells, which resulted in reduction of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and cytochrome c release into cytoplasm. Our results postulate that thymoquinone induces apoptosis through downregulating c-FLIP and Bcl-2 which can be utilized as a chemotherapeutic agent to treat renal carcinoma.