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Carvacrol suppresses proliferation and invasion in human oral squamous cell carcinoma

Authors Dai W, Sun C, Huang S, Zhou Q

Received 22 October 2015

Accepted for publication 17 February 2016

Published 18 April 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 2297—2304


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Faris Farassati

Wei Dai,1,2 Changfu Sun,1,2 Shaohui Huang,1,2 Qing Zhou1,2

1Department of Oromaxillofacial-Head and Neck Surgery, 2Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Stomatology, China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Carvacrol, a component of thyme oil, as a novel antitumor agent, has been implicated in several types of cancer cells. However, the mechanisms underlying the effect of carvacrol in human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) remain unclear. Here, we report that carvacrol significantly inhibits tumor cell proliferation, metastasis and invasion, and induces apoptosis in OSCC. Our results demonstrated that the molecular mechanisms of the effect of carvacrol in Tca-8113 induces G1/S cell cycle arrest through downregulation of CDK regulator CCND1 and CDK4, and upregulation of CDK inhibitor P21. Further analysis demonstrated that carvacrol also inhibited Tca-8113 cells’ clone formation in clonogenic cell survival assay. Student’s t-test (two-tailed) was used to compare differences between groups, and the significance level was P<0.01. Then, treatment of Tca-8113 cells with carvacrol resulted in downregulation of Bcl-2, Cox2, and upregulation of Bax. Carvacrol significantly inhibited the migration and invasion of human OSCC cells by blocking the phosphorylation of FAK and MMP-9 and MMP-2, transcription factor ZEB1, and β-catenin proteins’ expression. Taken together, these results provide novel insights into the mechanism of carvacrol and suggest potential therapeutic strategies for human OSCC.

Keywords: carvacrol, proliferation, metastasis and invasion, oral squamous cell carcinoma

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