Master of Science (MS)


School of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Document Type



Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among women and is highly heterogeneous in nature. One very aggressive subtype of this disease is Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC), is a very aggressive disease characterized by the lack of expression of estrogen receptors (ER), progesterone receptors (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2). TNBC patients account for approximately 15% of total breast cancer patients. This breast cancer subtype is characterized by high mortality rate, and is typically associated with poor prognosis. Current clinical methods have proven to have low success rates against TNBC, it is proposed that prevention by dietary approach with naturally occurring compounds in foods will be more effective. The objective of this research was to study the inhibitory activity of black seed oil and potassium chloride against the biomarkers of triple negative breast cancer. Hormone-independent MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells were incubated with black seed oil, potassium chloride, or the combination of black seed oil with potassium chloride and incubated at 37 ºC and 5% CO2 in a humidified incubator for 24, 48, or 72 h. Cell viability was measured by MTS assay. The effect of black seed oil on angiogenesis was determined using in vitro angiogenesis tube formation assay. Cancer cell cycle was analyzed by flow cytometry. The expression levels of biomarkers of TNBC cells were evaluated by Western blots. This study showed that black seed oil and potassium chloride proved efficient in down-regulating TNBC associated biomarkers including ALDH1, CD44, ESA, PI3K/Akt, Erk, COX-2, NFκB, Hsp90, p53, p21, Bax, and Bcl-2. The results indicate that black seed oil or KCl or their combination can attenuate the biomarkers of triple negative breast cancer MDA-MB-231, suggesting a potential preventive role against the disease.



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Committee Chair

Losso, Jack



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Life Sciences Commons