Anticancer Activity of Camel Milk via Induction of Autophagic Death in Human Colorectal and Breast Cancer Cells

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Translational Research Institute, Academic Health System, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, State of Qatar.

2 Division of Translational Medicine, Research Branch, Sidra Medicine, Doha, State of Qatar.

3 Department of Oncology, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA.


Background/ Objective: Camel milk is traditionally known for its human health benefits and believed to be a remedy
for various human ailments including cancer. The study was aimed to evaluate the inhibitory effects of commercially
available camel milk on cancer cells and its underlying mechanism(s). Materials and Methods: Two cell lines:
colorectal cancer HCT 116 and breast cancer MCF-7 were cultured with different doses of camel milk. The effects of
camel milk on cell death were determined by MTT assay, viability by trypan blue exclusion assay and migration by in
vitro scratch assay. The mechanism was elucidated by western blotting and confocal microscopy was used to confirm
autophagy. Results: Camel milk significantly reduced proliferation, viability as well as migration of both the cells.
The accumulation of LC3-II protein along with reduction in expression of p62 and Atg 5-12, the autophagy proteins
implied induction of autophagy. The (GFP)-LC3 puncta detected by confocal microscopy confirmed the autophagosome
formation in response to camel milk treatment. Conclusion: Camel milk exerted antiproliferative effects on human
colorectal HCT 116 and breast MCF-7 cancer cells by inducing autophagy.


Main Subjects