Curcumin contributes to programmed cell death in colon cancer cells. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Beta-catenin-mediated transactivation and cell-cell adhesion pathways are important in curcumin (diferuylmethane)-induced growth arrest and apoptosis in colon cancer cells.
Oncogene. 2002 Dec 5;21(55):8414-27. PMID: 12466962
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, The University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, FL 32610, USA.
The development of nontoxic natural agents with chemopreventive activity against colon cancer is the focus of investigation in many laboratories. Curcumin (feruylmethane), a natural plant product, possesses such chemopreventive activity, but the mechanisms by which it prevents cancer growth are not well understood. In the present study, we examined the mechanisms by which curcumin treatment affects the growth of colon cancer cells in vitro. Results showed that curcumin treatment causes p53- and p21-independent G(2)/M phase arrest and apoptosis in HCT-116(p53(+/+)), HCT-116(p53(-/-)) and HCT-116(p21(-/-)) cell lines. We further investigated the association of the beta-catenin-mediated c-Myc expression and the cell-cell adhesion pathways in curcumin-induced G(2)/M arrest and apoptosis in HCT-116 cells. Results described a caspase-3-mediated cleavage of beta-catenin, decreased transactivation of beta-catenin/Tcf-Lef, decreased promoter DNA binding activity of the beta-catenin/Tcf-Lef complex, and decreased levels of c-Myc protein. These activities were linked with decreased Cdc2/cyclin B1 kinase activity, a function of the G(2)/M phase arrest. The decreased transactivation of beta-catenin in curcumin-treated HCT-116 cells was unpreventable by caspase-3 inhibitor Z-DEVD-fmk, even though the curcumin-induced cleavage of beta-catenin was blocked in Z-DEVD-fmk pretreated cells. The curcumin treatment also induced caspase-3-mediated degradation of cell-cell adhesion proteins beta-catenin, E-cadherin and APC, which were linked with apoptosis, and this degradation was prevented with the caspase-3 inhibitor. Our results suggest that curcumin treatment impairs both Wnt signaling and cell-cell adhesion pathways, resulting in G(2)/M phase arrest and apoptosis in HCT-116 cells.