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Anwaar Alneaimi, Nazar Zaki, Kamal Khazanehdari, Ruqayiah Asghar Ali, Amr Amin

Professor, Cell and Molecular Biology, Biology Department, UAE University, P.O. Box 17551, Al-Ain, UAE


We have recently introduced Saffron (Crocus sativus) as a potential chemopreventive remedy against liver cancer. Here we investigate the chemopreventive action of saffron-based biomolecules (SBB) against chemically-induced liver cancer in rats. This study focuses on the apoptotic pathway as a possible mechanism for such protection utilizing in silico analyses. The bioinformatics tool RT² Profiler PCR Array System was utilized to analyze the levels of genes expression. The RT² Profiler PCR Array System is the most reliable and accurate tool and it offers a complete solution to examine gene expression profiles for any pathway of interest. Out of the 93 genes in the PCR array used in the study, only several genes were proved to have a clear impact on liver cancer treatment with SBB. Some of these genes were the Caspases, as they are known to be crucial mediators of programmed cell death (apoptosis). A closer analysis was done to test genes that are more likely responding to the bioactive ingredients and also closely associated with apoptosis, leading to only 5 genes that shown to be highly involved (Caspase-3, Tp53, Xiap, Bcl2l2, Bcl2ald). The level of expression shown by the clusetergram overview of RT² PCR array system suggests that the SBB used in the study have potent proapoptotic effects on the expression of caspase-3 which confirms our previous study of saffron’s effect on liver cancer both in vitro and in vivo. In the future, we plan to develop a bioinformatics tool to analyze the changes in the gene expression. Currently, the clustergram overview shows only the magnitude of the gene expression ranging from green (minimum expression) to red (high expression). Looking at exact gene expression level could assist in understanding the level of effect caused by bioactive ingredients of saffron.