NUTRITION AND CANCER-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, vol.69, no.7, pp.1075-1087, 2017 (SCI-Expanded)
Carvacrol, a major monoterpenoid phenol from Origanum and Thymus species, has been shown to exhibit antiproliferative and anticancer properties in a few recent studies. Nevertheless, detailed mechanism of the action of this compound in prostate cancer has not been elucidated yet. Therefore, in the current study, we examined the anticancer activity and mechanism of the action of carvacrol against human prostate cancer cells. It was found that the treatment of DU145 cells with carvacrol decreased cell viability in a concentration and time-dependent manner. The antiproliferative action of carvacrol leads to induction of apoptosis as confirmed by nuclear condensation, Annexin V-FITC/PI positive cells, and caspase-3 activation. In addition, carvacrol augmented reactive oxygen species generation and disruption in the mitochondrial membrane potential which has not been reported in the previous studies of carvacrol with prostate cancer. Moreover, carvacrol-induced apoptosis of prostate cancer cells was also accompanied by significant amount of growth arrest at the G(0)/G(1) phase of the cell cycle which has also not been documented previously. To sum up, this study has established that carvacrol could be a promising chemotherapeutic agent and could have a direct practical implication and translational relevance to prostate cancer patients as Origanum consumption may retard prostate cancer progression.