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J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2018 Sep;32(9):e22176. doi: 10.1002/jbt.22176. Epub 2018 Jul 10.

Juglone-ascorbic acid synergy inhibits metastasis and induces apoptotic cell death in poorly differentiated thyroid carcinoma by perturbing SOD and catalase activities.

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Radiation Medicine Centre, Bhabha Atomic Research Center, Parel, Mumbai, 400012, India.
Homi Bhabha National Institute, Anushaktinagar, Mumbai, India.
National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, Mumbai, India.


Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) requires more innovative approaches as the current regimes for therapy are inadequate, also most anticancer drugs cause general suppression of physiological functions. However, therapy with limited nontarget tissue damage is desirable. In the present study, we show prooxidant ability of ascorbic acid, which enhances cytotoxicity induced by juglone. We decipher that juglone-ascorbate combination induces reactive oxygen species-mediated apoptosis leading to cell death in ARO cell line originated from ATC. This combination also affects enzyme activity of catalase, glutathione reductase, and superoxide dismutase destabilizing redox balance in cell and thereby making juglone effective at a lower dose. We also show that juglone-ascorbate combination suppresses cell migration, invasion, and expression of tumor-promoting, and angiogenic genes in ARO cell line, thereby disrupting epithelial-mesenchymal transition ability of the cells. Overall, we show that ascorbic acid increases cytotoxic potency of juglone through redox cycling when used in synergy.


ARO; anaplastic thyroid carcinoma; ascorbic acid; catalase; cytotoxicity; juglone; superoxide dismutase

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