Antiproliferative Effect of Curcumin (Diferuloylmethane) Against Human Breast Tumor Cell Lines

Anticancer Drugs. 1997 Jun;8(5):470-81. doi: 10.1097/00001813-199706000-00010.

Abstract

Pharmacologically safe compounds that can inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells have potential as anticancer agents. Curcumin, a diferuloylmethane, is a major active component of the food flavor turmeric (Curcuma longa) that exhibits anticarcinogenic properties in vivo. In vitro, it suppressed c-jun/Ap-1 and NF-kappaB activation and type 1 human immunodeficiency virus long-terminal repeat-directed gene expression. We examined the antiproliferative effects of curcumin against several breast tumor cell lines, including hormone-dependent and -independent and multidrug-resistant (MDR) lines. Cell growth inhibition was monitored by [3H]thymidine incorporation, Trypan blue exclusion, crystal violet dye uptake and flow cytometry. All the cell lines tested, including the MDR-positive ones, were highly sensitive to curcumin. The growth inhibitory effect of curcumin was time- and dose-dependent, and correlated with its inhibition of ornithine decarboxylase activity. Curcumin preferentially arrested cells in the G2/S phase of the cell cycle. Curcumin-induced cell death was neither due to apoptosis nor to any significant change in the expression of apoptosis-related genes, including Bcl-2, p53, cyclin B and transglutaminase. Overall our results suggest that curcumin is a potent antiproliferative agent for breast tumor cells and may have potential as an anticancer agent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Doxorubicin / pharmacology
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Humans
  • Ornithine Decarboxylase / metabolism
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • Thiazoles

Substances

  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • Thiazoles
  • Doxorubicin
  • Ornithine Decarboxylase
  • thiazolyl blue
  • Curcumin