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Curcumin enhances the effects of irinotecan on colorectal cancer cells through the generation of reactive oxygen species and activation of the endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway.

Oncotarget; 8(25): 40264-40275, 2017 Jun 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28402965
Although initially effective against metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC), irinotecan-based chemotherapy leads to resistance and adverse toxicity. Curcumin is well known for its anti-cancer effects in many cancers, including CRC. Here, we describe reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress as important mechanisms by which curcumin enhances irinotecan's effects on CRC cells. CRC cell lines were treated with curcumin and/or irinotecan for 24 h, and then evaluated using cell proliferation assays, cell apoptosis assays, cell cycle analysis, intracellular Ca2+ measurements, ROS measurements and immunoblotting for key ER stress-related proteins. We found that cell viability was inhibited and apoptosis was increased, accompanied by ROS generation and ER stress activation in CRC cells treated with curcumin alone or in combination with irinotecan. Blocking ROS production attenuated the expression of two markers of ER stress: binding of immunoglobulin protein (BIP) and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP). Blocking CHOP expression using RNA interference also inhibited ROS generation. These results demonstrated that curcumin could enhance the effects of irinotecan on CRC cells by inhibiting cell viability and inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, and that these effects may be mediated, in part, by ROS generation and activation of the ER stress pathway.