(2-methyl-5-(l-methylethyl)-phenol), is a major component of the
essential oils of oregano and thyme
Anti-proliferative effects of carvacrol on a human metastatic breast cancer cell line, MDA-MB 231 Arunasree KM.
Institute of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad Campus, Biology, Hyderabad 500 046, AP, India.
Purpose: Although the anti-tumor effects of carvacrol have been
demonstrated earlier, the exact underlying molecular mechanisms involved
in its action have not been defined and in the present study an attempt
has been made to identify the mechanism of carvacrol induced cell death
in human metastatic breast cancer cells, MDA-MB 231.
Methods: Apoptosis induced by carvacrol was determined based on
different assays like MTT assay, Annexin V, mitochondrial membrane
potential assay, multicaspase activation assay and cell cycle analysis
by flow cytometer. Cleavage of PARP, cytochrome c release and modulation
of Bax and Bcl2 ratio by Western blot analysis were also studied.
Results: The study clearly showed induction of apoptosis by
carvacrol in MDA-MB 231 cells dose dependently at an [IC.sub.50] of 100
[micro]M with a decrease in the mitochondrial membrane potential of the
cells resulting in release of cytochrome c from mitochondria, caspase
activation and cleavage of PARP.
Conclusion: The data in the present study clearly demonstrated
anti-tumor effects of carvacrol on human metastatic breast cancer cells,
MDA-MB 231, and that the compound could have a potential therapeutic
significance in treating cancer.