IMR Press / FBS / Volume 13 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.52586/S548
Open Access Original Research
Volatile oil of Teucrium alopecurus sensitizes colon cancer cells to TRAIL-induced cell death
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1 Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA
2 Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, University of Carthage, Tunisia
3 Research and Development Laboratory, Noble Pharma LLC, Menomonie, WI 54751, USA
4 Department of Biology, College of Science, Taif University, P.O. Box 11099, Taif 21944, Saudi Arabia
5 Coastal Ecology and Ecotoxicology Unit, Laboratory of Environment Biomonitoring, Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, University of Carthage, 7021 Zarzouna, Tunisia
6 Department of Plant Genetic Transformation, Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute, Agricultural Research Centre, 12619 Giza, Egypt
*Correspondence: (Fatma Guesmi)
Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2021, 13(1), 1–13;
Submitted: 14 October 2020 | Accepted: 25 November 2020 | Published: 30 June 2021
Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by BRI.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL/Apo2L), a member of cytokine family, is known to selectively induce apoptosis in cancer cells. However, developing resistance to TRAIL is a major obstacle in cancer therapy. In this study, the in vitro effect of Teucrium alopecurus (TA) essential oil on inhibition of cancer cell growth and enhancing TRAIL-induced apoptosis were investigated in colon cancer cells. Untreated tumor cell lines are used as controls. TA induced cell death and increased the anticancer effects of TRAIL as observed by cell toxicity, live/dead assay, cleavage of caspases and PARP. Furthermore, the mechanism of anticancer potentiating effect of TA was found to be linked with the upregulation of death receptors (DRs) and reduced expression of TRAIL decoy receptors (DcRs). TA also down-regulated antiapoptotic proteins and induced p53 in colon cancer cells. In addition, we observed upregulation of MAPK signalling pathway (p38 kinase, JNK, ERK) and increased expression of C/EBP homologous transcription factor (CHOP) and specificity protein 1 (SP1) by TA. These findings demonstrate the potent anticancer effect of bioactive constituents of Teucrium alopecurus essential oil.

Teucrium alopecurus
Death receptors
Decoy receptors
Fig. 1.
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