Metastatic genes targeted by an antioxidant in an established radiation- and estrogen-breast cancer model

Int J Oncol. 2017 Nov;51(5):1590-1600. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2017.4125. Epub 2017 Sep 14.


Breast cancer remains the second most common disease worldwide. Radiotherapy, alone or in combination with chemotherapy, is widely used after surgery as a treatment for cancer with proven therapeutic efficacy manifested by reduced incidence of loco-regional and distant recurrences. However, clinical evidence indicates that relapses occurring after radiotherapy are associated with increased metastatic potential and poor prognosis in the breast. Among the anticarcinogenic and antiproliferative agents, curcumin is a well-known major dietary natural yellow pigment derived from the rhizome of the herb Curcuma longa (Zingiberaceae). The aim of the present study was to analyze the differential expression of metastatic genes in radiation- and estrogen-induced breast cancer cell model and the effect of curcumin on such metastatic genes in breast carcinogenesis. Expression levels of TGF-α and TGFβ1 genes were upregulated in MCF-10F and downregulated in Tumor2 cell lines treated with curcumin. Expression levels of other genes such as caspase 9 and collagen 4 A2 were upregulated in both MCF-10F and Tumor2-treated cell lines. Integrin α5 and cathepsin B and D decreased its expression in Tumor2, whereas E-Cadherin, c-myc and CD44 expressions were only increased in MCF-10F. It can be concluded that metastatic genes can be affected by curcumin in cancer progression and such substance can be used in breast cancer patients with advanced disease without side-effects commonly observed with therapeutic drugs.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Carcinogenesis / genetics*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Curcuma / chemistry
  • Estrogens / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / genetics
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / radiotherapy
  • Prognosis
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / genetics


  • Antioxidants
  • Estrogens
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1