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Curcumin Inhibits Gastric Carcinoma Cell Growth and Induces Apoptosis by Suppressing the Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Pathway

Ruzhen Zheng, Qinghua Deng, Yuehua Liu, Pengjun Zhao

(Department of Radiation Oncology, Hangzhou Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:163-171

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.902711

BACKGROUND: Curcumin has well-known, explicit biological anti-tumor properties. The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway plays a central role in tumor cell proliferation and curcumin can regulate the Wnt/b-catenin signaling pathway of several carcinomas. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of curcumin on the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in human gastric cancer cells.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We used 3 gastric cancer cell lines: SNU-1, SNU-5, and AGS. Research methods used were MTT assay, flow cytometry, clonogenic assay, annexin V/PI method, Western blotting analysis, tumor formation assay, and in vivo in the TUNEL assay.
RESULTS: Curcumin markedly impaired tumor cell viability and induced apoptosis in vitro. Curcumin significantly suppressed the levels of Wnt3a, LRP6, phospho-LRP6, β-catenin, phospho-β-catenin, C-myc, and survivin. Xenograft growth in vivo was inhibited and the target genes of Wnt/β-catenin signaling were also reduced by curcumin treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Curcumin exerts anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effect in gastric cancer cells and in a xenograft model. Inhibition of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and the subsequently reduced expression of Wnt target genes show potential as a newly-identified molecular mechanism of curcumin treatment.

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