Thymoquinone induces apoptosis in oral cancer cells through p38β inhibition

Ehab Abdelfadil, Ya Hsin Cheng, Da Tian Bau, Wei Jen Ting, Li Mien Chen, Hsi Hsien Hsu, Yueh Min Lin, Ray Jade Chen, Fu Jenn Tsai, Chang Hai Tsai, Chih Yang Huang

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52 Citations (Scopus)


Oral cancer is a common malignancy associated with high morbidity and mortality. While p38 MAPK is reported to be involved in different cellular activities such as proliferation and differentiation, reports rarely define the roles of the individual members of the p38 MAPK family in cancer. We used two unique cell lines developed by our lab representing chemically induced oral cancer cells (T28) and non-tumor cells (N28) obtained from tissues surrounding the induced cancer as a model to screen out whether p38 MAPK is involved in the malignant transformation processes. The results suggest an association between p38β not p38α and oral cancer development. Additionally, the anti-cancer activity of thymoquinone (TQ) was screened out and we found evidences suggesting that the anti-tumor activity of TQ may be attributed to the downregulation of p38β MAPK.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-696
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Chinese Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Oral Cancer
  • p38α MAPK
  • p38β MAPK
  • Thymoquinone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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