Background: Curdione, one of the major components of Curcuma zedoaria, has been reported to possess various biological activities. It thus might be a candidate anti-flammatory and cancer chemopreventive agent. However, the precise molecular mechanisms of action of curdione on cancer cells are still unclear. In this study, we investigated the effect of curdione on breast cancer.
Materials and methods: Xenograft nude mice were used to detect the effect of curdione on breast cancer in vivo; we also tested the effect of curdione on breast cancer in vitro by MTT, Flow cytometry, JC-I assay, and western blot.
Results: Firstly, we found that curdione significantly suppressed tumor growth in a xenograft nude mouse breast tumor model in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, curdione treatment inhibited cell proliferation and induced cell apoptosis. Moreover, after curdione treatment, increase of impaired mitochondrial membrane potential occurred in a concentration dependent manner. Furthermore, the expression of apoptosis-related proteins including cleaved caspase-3, caspase-9 and Bax was increased in curdione treatment groups, while the expression of the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 was decreased. Inhibitors of caspase-3 were used to confirm that curdione induced apoptosis.
Conclusions: Overall, our observations first suggested that curdione inhibited the proliferation of breast cancer cells by inducing apoptosis. These results might provide some molecular basis for the anti-cancer activity of curdione.