Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Rabah Jratni

Second Advisor

Dr. Ranjit Vijayan

Third Advisor

Dr. Ahmed Murad


Plants have been shown to be an excellent source of new drugs, including anticancer agents. Rhus coriaria, commonly known as sumac, a plant that is known to possess different therapeutic values including anti-oxidant and anti-microbial activities. Here, we investigated the anti-cancer effect of R. coriaria on triple negative MDA-MB-231 cell line. We demonstrated that Rhus coriaria ethanolic extract (RCE) inhibits the proliferation of MDA-MB-231 cell line in a time- and concentration dependent manner. RCE induced senescence and cell cycle arrest at G1 phase. Moreover, no proliferative recovery was detected after RCE removal. Annexin V staining and PARP cleavage analysis revealed a minimal induction of apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 cells. Autophagy vacuoles were detected along with autophagy markers. Interestingly, blocking autophagy by 3-methyladenine (3-MA) or chloroquine (CQ) reduced RCE-induced cell death and senescence. Finally, RCE induced DNA damage, an event that was found to precede autophagy. Hence, altogether, these findings make Rhus coriaria a promising alternative candidate against breast cancer.

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