Demethoxycurcumin induces the apoptosis of human lung cancer NCI-H460 cells through the mitochondrial-dependent pathway.
Oncol Rep. 2015 May ;33(5):2429-37. Epub 2015 Mar 18. PMID: 25813094
Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related mortality in the US as well as other regions of the world. Curcumin, demethoxycurcumin (DMC) and bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMC) are the major components of Curcuma longa L. It has been reported that curcumin inhibits the growth of various types of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. However, the mechanisms involved in the inhibition of cell growth and induced apoptosis by DMC in human lung cancer cells remain unclear. In the present study, we investigated the effect of DMC on cell death via the induction of apoptosis in NCI-H460 human lung cancer cells. Flow cytometric assay was used to examine the total percentage of viable cells, the population of cells in the sub-G1 phase of the cell cycle, the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS), Ca²⁺ production, mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and caspase activity. Western blotting was used to examine the changes in the expression of cell cycle- and apoptosis-associated proteins. Confocal microscopy was used to examine the translocation of apoptosis-associated proteins. The results indicated that DMC significantly induced cell morphological changes and decreased the percentage of viable NCI-H460 cells and DMC induced apoptosis based on the cell distribution in the sub-G1 phase. Moreover, DMC promoted ROS and Ca²⁺ production and decreased the level of ΔΨm and promoted the activities of caspase-3, -8 and -9. The Western blotting results showed that DMC promoted the expression of AIF, Endo G and PARP. The levels of Fas ligand (Fas L) and Fas were also upregulated. Furthermore, DMC promoted expression of ER stress-associated proteins such as GRP78, GADD153, IRE1β, ATF-6α, ATF-6β and caspase-4. Based on the findings, we suggest that DMC may be used as a novel anticancer agent for the treatment of lung cancer in the future.