Camel Urine Promotes Sensitization to Doxorubicin by Inhibiting Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Modulating NF-κB-Snail Signaling Pathway in Breast Cancer Cells

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait.

2 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Kuwait University, Kuwait.


Background: Camel urine (CU) has been used as traditional treatment in the Arabian Peninsula for centuries. Although, researchers have reported CU anti-cancer effects, the exact mechanism(s) of action involved has not been fully elucidated. The epithelial–mesenchymal transition EMT is a phenotypic switch that promotes the acquisition of a fibroblastoid-like morphology by epithelial tumor cells, resulting in enhanced tumor cell motility and invasiveness. EMT has been shown to contribute to metastasis and chemoresistance of carcinomas. For that, in the present study, we have assessed the potential mechanism (s) by which CU exert its anti-cancer effects and its possible synergistic therapeutic effect with Doxorubicin (DOX) in breast cancer cells. Methods: Determination of anti-proliferative and apoptosis validation of CU was performed by 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5,-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), annexin-V-fluorescein isothiocyanate assays, and Western blot. EMT protein markers, migration and invasion of cells were determined by Western blot or immunofluorescent staining, Scratch assay, Transwell invasion assay, respectively. Results: CU applied a significant anti-cancer effect on breast cancer cells via induction of DNA damage and apoptosis in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Also, CU remarkably reversed the EMT by downregulating N-cadherin and Vimentin expression and upregulating E-cadherin expression. As a result, the stemness, migration and invasion of breast cancer cells were also inhibited, which was likely mediated by NF-κB-Snail signalling pathway and its downstream inflammatory effectors. CU successfully enhanced DOX cytotoxicity by reversing EMT which possibly through inhibition of NF-κB-Snail signalling and subsequently inflammation.  Thus, our study provides new mechanistic bases for the therapeutic application of CU that may improve the outcomes of anti-cancer chemotherapy.


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