Aqueous extract of Curcuma aromatica induces apoptosis and G2/M arrest in human colon carcinoma LS-174-T cells independent of p53

Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2011 Feb;26(1):97-104. doi: 10.1089/cbr.2010.0853. Epub 2011 Feb 24.


Curcuma aromatica is a common Chinese herb for treating diseases with blood stasis and has been regarded as an anticancer herb in modern clinical practice. However, the anticancer effects and related molecular mechanisms of Curcuma aromatica remain unclear. In the present study, human colon carcinoma LS-174-T cell line with wild-type p53 was used as a model cell to evaluate the anticancer effects of aqueous extract of Curcuma aromatica (AECA). AECA inhibits LS-174-T cell proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent manner and colony formation in a dose-dependent manner. AECA treatment induces apoptosis accompanied by caspase-8, -9, and -3 activation in LS-174-T cells. Moreover, blocking the activities of these caspases with a specific inhibitor significantly protected LS-174-T cells from AECA-induced apoptosis. AECA treatment also induces G2/M phase arrest in LS-174-T cells. Expression of p53 was unchanged after AECA treatment; specific silence of p53 did not influence AECA-induced apoptosis and G2/M phase arrest. Further, the expression of cyclin B1 and CDK1 was reduced by AECA. This study suggests that AECA might be effective as an antiproliferative herb for colon carcinoma, the antitumor activity of AECA may involve both extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis, and AECA induces G2/M phase arrest via downregulation of cyclin B1 and CDK1 and without the participation of p53.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase / biosynthesis
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase / genetics
  • Caspase Inhibitors
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Cell Division / drug effects*
  • Cell Division / genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Curcuma / chemistry*
  • Cyclin B1 / biosynthesis
  • Cyclin B1 / genetics
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • G2 Phase / drug effects*
  • G2 Phase / genetics
  • Humans
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Stem Cell Assay
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • CCNB1 protein, human
  • Caspase Inhibitors
  • Cyclin B1
  • Plant Extracts
  • TP53 protein, human
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase
  • Caspases