Oral cancer is a common malignancy associated with high morbidity and mortality. While p38 MAPK is reported to be involved in different cellular activities such as proliferation and differentiation, reports rarely define the roles of the individual members of the p38 MAPK family in cancer. We used two unique cell lines developed by our lab representing chemically induced oral cancer cells (T28) and non-tumor cells (N28) obtained from tissues surrounding the induced cancer as a model to screen out whether p38 MAPK is involved in the malignant transformation processes. The results suggest an association between p38β not p38α and oral cancer development. Additionally, the anti-cancer activity of thymoquinone (TQ) was screened out and we found evidences suggesting that the anti-tumor activity of TQ may be attributed to the downregulation of p38β MAPK.
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