- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Curcumin derived from the tropical plant Curcuma longa has a long history of use as a dietary agent, food preservative, and in traditional Asian medicine. It has been used for centuries to treat biliary disorders, anorexia, cough, diabetic wounds, hepatic disorders, rheumatism, and sinusitis. The preventive and therapeutic properties of curcumin are associated with its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. Extensive research over several decades has attempted to identify the molecular mechanisms of curcumin action. Curcumin modulates numerous molecular targets by altering their gene expression, signaling pathways, or through direct interaction. Curcumin regulates the expression of inflammatory cytokines (e.g., TNF, IL-1), growth factors (e.g., VEGF, EGF, FGF), growth factor receptors (e.g., EGFR, HER-2, AR), enzymes (e.g., COX-2, LOX, MMP9, MAPK, mTOR, Akt), adhesion molecules (e.g., ELAM-1, ICAM-1, VCAM-1), apoptosis related proteins (e.g., Bcl-2, caspases, DR, Fas), and cell cycle proteins (e.g., cyclin D1). Curcumin modulates the activity of several transcription factors (e.g., NF-κB, AP-1, STAT) and their signaling pathways. Based on its ability to affect multiple targets, curcumin has the potential for the prevention and treatment of various diseases including cancers, arthritis, allergies, atherosclerosis, aging, neurodegenerative disease, hepatic disorders, obesity, diabetes, psoriasis, and autoimmune diseases. This review summarizes the molecular mechanisms of modulation of gene expression by curcumin.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The phytochemical curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is the yellow pigment from the rhizome of the Curcuma longa plant. Turmeric is used as a dietary spice, coloring agent in foods and textiles, and a treatment for a wide variety of ailments. It is widely used in traditional Indian medicine to cure biliary disorders, anorexia, cough, diabetic wounds, hepatic disorders, rheumatism, and sinusitis. Various studies have shown that curcumin modulates numerous targets that include growth factors, growth factor receptors, transcription factors, cytokines, enzymes, and genes regulating apoptosis. The microgravity environment experienced during space travel can stimulate the activation of several pro-inflammatory signaling pathways that regulate gene expression. Specifically lengthy exposure to microgravity leads to oxidative stress and may induce transcription factor Nuclear Factor (NF)-κB resulting in hazardous physiological effects. The activation of this transcription factor has been shown to regulate the expression of over 200 genes that control the immune system, growth, and inflammation. NF-κ activation is linked to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, diabetes, allergy, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, psoriasis, and septic shock. In an effort to study the effect of curcumin on modeled microgravity-induced NF-κ activation, curcumin-treated cells were subjected to modeled microgravity for various time period and the effect on NF-κ signaling pathway was evaluated. We demonstrate that curcumin suppressed the activation of modeled microgravity-induced NF-κ and NF-κB-regulated gene products matrix metalloproteinase 9 and cyclooxygenase-2.
Article: New Approaches in Cancer Therapy
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The space radiation environment consists of trapped particle radiation, solar particle radiation, and galactic cosmic radiation (GCR), in which protons are the most abundant particle type. During missions to the moon or to Mars, the constant exposure to GCR and occasional exposure to particles emitted from solar particle events (SPE) are major health concerns for astronauts. Therefore, in order to determine health risks during space missions, an understanding of cellular responses to proton exposure is of primary importance. The expression of DNA repair genes in response to ionizing radiation (X-rays and gamma rays) has been studied, but data on DNA repair in response to protons is lacking. Using qPCR analysis, we investigated changes in gene expression induced by positively charged particles (protons) in four categories (0, 0.1, 1.0, and 2.0 Gy) in nine different DNA repair genes isolated from the testes of irradiated mice. DNA repair genes were selected on the basis of their known functions. These genes include ERCC1 (5' incision subunit, DNA strand break repair), ERCC2/NER (opening DNA around the damage, Nucleotide Excision Repair), XRCC1 (5' incision subunit, DNA strand break repair), XRCC3 (DNA break and cross-link repair), XPA (binds damaged DNA in preincision complex), XPC (damage recognition), ATA or ATM (activates checkpoint signaling upon double strand breaks), MLH1 (post-replicative DNA mismatch repair), and PARP1 (base excision repair). Our results demonstrate that ERCC1, PARP1, and XPA genes showed no change at 0.1 Gy radiation, up-regulation at 1.0 Gy radiation (1.09 fold, 7.32 fold, 0.75 fold, respectively), and a remarkable increase in gene expression at 2.0 Gy radiation (4.83 fold, 57.58 fold and 87.58 fold, respectively). Expression of other genes, including ATM and XRCC3, was unchanged at 0.1 and 1.0 Gy radiation but showed up-regulation at 2.0 Gy radiation (2.64 fold and 2.86 fold, respectively). We were unable to detect gene expression for the remaining four genes (XPC, ERCC2, XRCC1, and MLH1) in either the experimental or control animals.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Space radiation is a known carcinogen, and astronauts are exposed to high-energy radiation. In this study, we demonstrate that high-energy radiation activates cylooxygenase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 through the NF-kB pathway.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study will present gene expression changes induced by positively charged particle in four categories i.e. 0 Gy, 0.1 Gy, 1.0 Gy and 2.0 Gy in nine different DNA repair genes from testes of mouse using qPCR analysis.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microgravity has several deleterious effects on cells. These cells may exhibit an up-regulation or down-regulation of their gene expression. We are investigating the effects of the phytochemical curcumin on microgravity-induced deleterious effects.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Identification of active principles and their molecular targets from traditional medicine is an enormous opportunity for modern drug development. Gum resin from Commiphora wightii (syn C. mukul) has been used for centuries in Ayurveda to treat internal tumors, obesity, liver disorders, malignant sores and ulcers, urinary complaints, intestinal worms, leucoderma (vitiligo), sinuses, edema and sudden paralytic seizures. Guggulsterone has been identified as one of the major active components of this gum resin. This steroid has been shown to bind to the farnesoid X receptor and modulate expression of proteins with antiapoptotic (IAP1, XIAP, Bfl-1/A1, Bcl-2, cFLIP, survivin), cell survival, cell proliferation (cyclin D1, c-Myc), angiogenic, and metastatic (MMP-9, COX-2, VEGF) activities in tumor cells. Guggulsterone mediates gene expression through regulation of various transcription factors, including NF-kappaB, STAT-3 and C/EBPalpha, and various steroid receptors such as androgen receptor and glucocorticoid receptors. Modulation of gene expression by guggulsterone leads to inhibition of cell proliferation, induction of apoptosis, suppression of invasion and abrogation of angiogenesis. Evidence has been presented to suggest that guggulsterone can suppress tumor initiation, promotion and metastasis. This review describes the identification of molecular targets of guggulsterone, cellular responses to guggulsterone, and animal studies and clinical trials of guggulsterone in cancer and other diseases.
Chapter: Turmeric as Cure-Cumin
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this age of targeted therapy, the failure of most current drug-discovery efforts to yield safe, effective, and inexpensive drugs has generated widespread concern. Successful drug development has been stymied by a general focus on target selection rather than clinical safety and efficacy. The very process of validating the targets themselves is inefficient and in many cases leads to drugs having poor efficacy and undesirable side effects. Indeed, some rationally designed drugs (e.g., inhibitors of receptor tyrosine kinases, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), bcr-abl, and proteasomes) are ineffective against cancers and other inflammatory conditions and produce serious side effects. Since any given cancer carries mutations in an estimated 300 genes, this raises an important question about how effective these targeted therapies can ever be against cancer. Thus, it has become necessary to rethink drug development strategies. This review analyzes the shortcomings of rationally designed target-specific drugs against cancer cell signaling pathways and evaluates the available options for future drug development.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Guggulsterone is a plant polyphenol traditionally used to treat obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, atherosclerosis, and osteoarthritis, possibly through an anti-inflammatory mechanism. Whether this steroid has any role in cancer is not known. In this study, we found that guggulsterone inhibits the proliferation of wide variety of human tumor cell types including leukemia, head and neck carcinoma, multiple myeloma, lung carcinoma, melanoma, breast carcinoma, and ovarian carcinoma. Guggulsterone also inhibited the proliferation of drug-resistant cancer cells (e.g., gleevac-resistant leukemia, dexamethasone-resistant multiple myeloma, and doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer cells). Guggulsterone suppressed the proliferation of cells through inhibition of DNA synthesis, producing cell cycle arrest in S-phase, and this arrest correlated with a decrease in the levels of cyclin D1 and cdc2 and a concomitant increase in the levels of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21 and p27. Guggulsterone-induced apoptosis as indicated by increase in the number of Annexin V- and TUNEL-positive cells, through the downregulation of anti-apoptototic products. The apoptosis induced by guggulsterone was also indicated by the activation of caspase-8, bid cleavage, cytochrome c release, caspase-9 activation, caspase-3 activation, and PARP cleavage. The apoptotic effects of guggulsterone were preceded by activation of JNK and downregulation of Akt activity. JNK was needed for guggulsterone-induced apoptosis, inasmuch as inhibition of JNK by pharmacological inhibitors or by genetic deletion of MKK4 (activator of JNK) abolished the activity. Overall, our results indicate that guggulsterone can inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis through the activation of JNK, suppression of Akt, and downregulation of antiapoptotic protein expression.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The continual activation of signaling cascades results in dramatic consequences that include loss of cellular growth control and neoplastic transformation. We show here that phosphoinositide 3-kinase and its mediator Akt was constitutively activated in glioma and that this might be due to the aberrant expression of their natural antagonist PTEN. The PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome ten) tumor suppressor gene modulates cell growth and survival through mechanisms that are incompletely understood. In this study, we investigated the possibility that PTEN mediates its effects through modulation of transcription factor AP-1, which is in part due to decrease in c-fos expression which was dependent on PI3kinase activity. Consistent with a reduction in the c-fos levels, an AP-1 dependent reporter gene was poorly induced in the PTEN expressing cell lines. In contrast to its effect on c-fos, PTEN did not affect the expression of c-Jun and other fos family members. We also show that the effect of PTEN on c-fos expression was due to its ability to antagonize PI3-kinase and could be mimicked by the expression of dominant negative Akt mutant. Taken together, these data indicate that the aberrant expression of PTEN contributes to the activation of the PI3kinase/Akt pathway and its transcription factor mediators in glioma. We conclude that the ectopic expression of PTEN down regulates the proliferation of glioma cells through the suppression of AP-1 and that this target might be essential for its central role in the growth and survival of glioma cancer cells.
Article: Role of Curcumin in Cancer Therapy
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nuclear Factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation and COX-2 overexpression have been reported in head and neck cancer, but the relationship between these proteins remains to be investigated. To determine the relationship between NF-kappaB and COX-2 in Smokeless Tobacco (ST) associated oral tumorigenesis, we performed immunohistochemistry in serial sections from 107 OSCCs, 78 oral precancerous lesions (OPLs) (58 hyperplasias, 20 dysplasias) and 15 histologically normal oral tissues and correlated with clinicopathological data. Significant increase in NF-kappaB and COX-2 immunopositivity was observed from normal oral mucosa to OPLs to OSCCs (p = 0.009 and p = 0.002 respectively). Upregulation of NF-kappaB and COX-2 was observed as early as in hyperplasia [p = 0.006; OR = 6.1 and p = 0.003; OR = 7.6, respectively]. Expression of both proteins was found to be significantly associated in OPLs (p = 0.000; OR = 12.6) and OSCCs (p = 0.001; OR = 4.0). Intriguingly, khaini consumption correlated with NF-kappaB immunopositivity in OPLs (p = 0.05, OR = 3.8) and OSCCs (p = 0.01, OR = 3.4) and with COX-2 expression in OPLs (p = 0.03; OR = 4.3). In vitro experimental system of ST associated oral carcinogenesis was used to demonstrate ST (khaini) and NNK mediated activation of NF-kappaB and COX-2, supporting the clinical data. In conclusion, this study demonstrates correlation between over expression of NF-kappaB and COX-2 in early precancerous stages of development of oral cancer and sustained elevation down the tumorigenic pathway, underscoring their potential as targets for early intervention. In vitro studies demonstrated that NNK may be one of the carcinogenic components of ST (khaini) inducing activation of NF-kappaB and COX-2 in oral precancer and cancer cells, suggesting plausible role in ST-induced oral carcinogenesis.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The semi-thiosemicarbazone and N4-substituted thiosemicarbazone derivatives and their metal complexes of the active principle of Henna were structurally characterized along with single crystal X-ray studies. The compounds were evaluated for their antiproliferative activity against human leukemia KBM-5 cells, where [Cu(3)] was the most active compound with IC50 of 0.3 mu M attributed to down regulation of NF-kappa B activation.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Curcumin, a well-known chemopreventive agent, has been shown to suppress the proliferation of a wide variety of tumor cells through a mechanism that is not fully understood. Cyclin E, a proto-oncogene that is overexpressed in many human cancers, mediates the G(1) to S transition, is a potential target of curcumin. We demonstrate in this report a dose- and time-dependent down-regulation of expression of cyclin E by curcumin that correlates with the decrease in the proliferation of human prostate and breast cancer cells. The suppression of cyclin E expression was not cell type dependent as down-regulation occurred in estrogen-positive and -negative breast cancer cells, androgen-dependent and -independent prostate cancer cells, leukemia and lymphoma cells, head and neck carcinoma cells, and lung cancer cells. Curcumin-induced down-regulation of cyclin E was reversed by proteasome inhibitors, lactacystin and N-acetyl-L-leucyl-L-leucyl-L-norleucinal, suggesting the role of ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal pathway. We found that curcumin enhanced the expression of tumor cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors p21 and p27 as well as tumor suppressor protein p53 but suppressed the expression of retinoblastoma protein. Curcumin also induced the accumulation of the cells in G1 phase of the cell cycle. Overall, our results suggest that proteasome-mediated down-regulation of cyclin E and up-regulation of CDK inhibitors may contribute to the antiproliferative effects of curcumin against various tumors.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whether resveratrol, a component of red grapes, berries, and peanuts, could suppress the proliferation of multiple myeloma (MM) cells by interfering with NF-kappaB and STAT3 pathways, was investigated. Resveratrol inhibited the proliferation of human multiple myeloma cell lines regardless of whether they were sensitive or resistant to the conventional chemotherapy agents. This stilbene also potentiated the apoptotic effects of bortezomib and thalidomide. Resveratrol induced apoptosis as indicated by accumulation of sub-G(1) population, increase in Bax release, and activation of caspase-3. This correlated with down-regulation of various proliferative and antiapoptotic gene products, including cyclin D1, cIAP-2, XIAP, survivin, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, Bfl-1/A1, and TRAF2. In addition, resveratrol down-regulated the constitutive activation of AKT. These effects of resveratrol are mediated through suppression of constitutively active NF-kappaB through inhibition of IkappaBalpha kinase and the phosphorylation of IkappaBalpha and of p65. Resveratrol inhibited both the constitutive and the interleukin 6-induced activation of STAT3. When we examined CD138(+) plasma cells from patients with MM, resveratrol inhibited constitutive activation of both NF-kappaB and STAT3, leading to down-regulation of cell proliferation and potentiation of apoptosis induced by bortezomib and thalidomide. These mechanistic findings suggest that resveratrol may have a potential in the treatment of multiple myeloma.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Zyflamend, a polyherbal preparation, was designed based on constituents that exhibit antiproliferative, antiinflammatory, antioxidant, antiangiogenic, and apoptotic activities through a mechanism that is not well defined. Because the nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB has been shown to regulate proliferation, invasion, and metastasis of tumor cells, we postulated that Zyflamend modulates the activity of NF-kappa B. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effect of this preparation on NF-kappaB and NF-kappaB-regulated gene products. We found that Zyflamend inhibited receptor activator of NF-kappa B ligand-induced osteoclastogenesis, suppressed tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced invasion, and potentiated the cytotoxicity induced by TNF and chemotherapeutic agents, all of which are known to require NF-kappa B activation. Zyflamend suppressed NF-kappa B activation induced by both TNF and cigarette smoke condensate. The expression of NF-kappa B-regulated gene products involved in antiapoptosis (inhibitor-of-apoptosis protein 1/2, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, FADD-like interleukin-1betaconverting enzyme/caspase-8 inhibitory protein, TNF receptor-associated factor-1, and survivin) and angiogenesis (vascular endothelial growth factor, cyclooxygenase-2, intercellular adhesion molecule, and matrix metalloproteinase-9) was also down-regulated by Zyflamend. This correlated with potentiation of cell death induced by TNF and chemotherapeutic agents. Overall, our results indicate that Zyflamend suppresses osteoclastogenesis, inhibits invasion, and potentiates cytotoxicity through down-regulation of NF-kappa B activation and NF-kappa B-regulated gene products.
University of HoustonHouston, Texas, United States
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX, United States
- Department of Bioimmunotherapy