Abstract Title:

Autophagic and apoptotic mechanisms of curcumin-induced death in K562 cells.

Abstract Source:

J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2009 Nov;11(11):918-28. PMID: 20183254

Abstract Author(s):

Yan-Li Jia, Jun Li, Zheng-Hong Qin, Zhong-Qin Liang

Article Affiliation:

Department of Pharmacology and Laboratory of Aging and Nervous Diseases, Soochow University School of Medicine, Suzhou, China.


Curcumin (1), a natural polyphenolic compound, has shown strong antioxidant and anticancer activities. Several molecular mechanisms have been attributed to its inhibitory effects on a wide range of tumor cells. In this study, the response of the chronic myeloid leukemia cell line K562 cells to 1 is investigated. Curcumin inhibited the viability of K562 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, curcumin-induced cell death was associated with the formation of the apoptosome complex, the collapse of the mitochondrial membrane potential, and caspase-3 activation. Curcumin treatment also induced Bid cleavage and downregulated the expression of Bcl-2 protein. Surprisingly, even with these molecular features of apoptosis, we showed that 1 stimulated autophagy, which was evidenced by microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3) immunoreactivty. Curcumin also increased the protein levels of beclin 1 and membrane form LC3 (LC3-II). Autophagy inhibitor bafilomycin A1 and the pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-fmk suppressed curcumin-induced K562 cell death. Overall, these results suggest that curcumin induces autophagic and apoptotic death of K562 cells. These findings suggest that both apoptotic and autophagic mechanisms contribute to the curcumin-induced K562 cell death.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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