Curcumin and epithelial-mesenchymal transition in breast cancer cells transformed by low doses of radiation and estrogen.
Int J Oncol. 2016 Jun ;48(6):2534-42. Epub 2016 Apr 7. PMID: 27082017
Breast cancer is a major cause of global mortality in women. Curcumin exerts anti-proliferative, anti-migratory and apoptotic effects. The aim of this study was to evaluate gene expression involved in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). An in vitro model was developed with the MCF-10F immortalized breast epithelial cell line exposed to low radiation doses of high LET (linear energy transfer) α-particles (150 keV/µm) and cultured in the presence of 17β-estradiol (estrogen). The following cell lines were used: i) MCF-10F, normal; ii)Alpha5, pre-tumorigenic, and iii) Tumor2 derived from Alpha5 injected into the nude mice. Our previous results have shown that Alpha5 and Tumor2 increased cell proliferation, anchorage independency, invasive capabilities and tumor formation in nude mice in comparison to control. Results indicated that curcumin decreased expression of EMT-related genes in Tumor2 cell line when compared to its counterpart as E-cadherin, N-cadherin, ZEB2, Twist1, Slug, Axl, vimentin, STAT-3, fibronectin; and genes p53 and caveolin-1, as well as apoptotic genes caspase-3, caspase-8, and others such as cyclin D1and NFκB. All these changes induced a decrease in migratory and invasive capabilities of such a cell line. Thus, it seems that curcumin may impinge upon apoptosis and metastatic properties of the malignant cells exerting antitumor activity in breast cancer cells transformed by low doses of α-particles and estrogen in vitro.