Differential effects of thymoquinone on lysophosphatidic acid-induced oncogenic pathways in ovarian cancer cells

Ji Hee Ha  1   2 Muralidharan Jayaraman  1   2 Rangasudhagar Radhakrishnan  1 Rohini Gomathinayagam  1   2 Mingda Yan  1 Yong Sang Song  3 Ciro Isidoro  4 Danny N Dhanasekaran  1   2



1 Stephenson Cancer Center, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, 73104, USA.

2 Department of Cell Biology, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, 73104, USA.

3 Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University, College of Medicine, Seoul, 151-921, South Korea.

4 Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy.


PMID: 32670815

PMCID: PMC7340879

DOI: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2020.04.001

J Tradit Complement Med. 2020 Apr 12;10(3):207-216. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2020.04.001. eCollection 2020 May.



Thymoquinone, a therapeutic phytochemical derived from Nigella sativa, has been shown to have a potent anticancer activity. However, it has been identified that the tumor microenvironment (TME) can attenuate the anticancer effects of thymoquinone (TQ) in ovarian cancer. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a lipid growth factor present in high concentration in the TME of ovarian cancer, has been shown to regulate multiple oncogenic pathways in ovarian cancer. Taking account of the crucial role of LPA in the genesis and progression of ovarian cancer, the present study is focused on assessing the efficacy of TQ in inhibiting LPA-stimulated oncogenic pathways in ovarian cancer cells. Our results indicate that TQ is unable to attenuate LPA-stimulated proliferation or metabolic reprogramming in ovarian cancer cells. However, TQ potently inhibits the basal as well as LPA-stimulated migratory responses of the ovarian cancer cells. Furthermore, TQ abrogates the invasive migration of ovarian cancer cells induced by Gαi2, through which LPA stimulates cell migration. TQ also attenuates the activation of JNK, Src, and FAK, the downstream signaling nodes of LPA-LPAR-Gαi2 signaling pathway. In addition to establishing the differential effects of TQ in ovarian cancer cells, our results unravel the antitherapeutic role of LPA in the ovarian cancer TME could override the inhibitory effects of TQ on cell proliferation and metabolic reprogramming of ovarian cancer cells. More importantly, the concomitant finding that TQ could still sustain its inhibitory effect on LPA-stimulated invasive cell migration, points to its potential use as a response-specific therapeutic agent in ovarian cancer.



Keywords: Anticancer; LPA; Ovarian cancer; Phytochemical; Thymoquinone.

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