J Cancer 2015; 6(4):327-332. doi:10.7150/jca.11185

Research Paper

Induction of BCL2-Interacting Killer, BIK, is Mediated for Anti-Cancer Activity of Curcumin in Human Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells

Yue Xi1, 2, Hang Gao1, Michael U. Callaghan2, Andrew M. Fribley2, 3, Danielle M. Garshott2, Zhi-Xiang Xu1, 4, Qinghua Zeng1, 4,✉, Yu-Lin Li1,✉

1. The Key Laboratory of Pathobiology, Ministry of Education, Norman Bethune College of Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China
2. Carmen and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Department of Otolaryngology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201, USA
3. Molecular Therapeutics Program, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, MI 48201, USA
4. Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, 35294, USA

Abstract

Naturally occurring diarylheptanoid curcumin (CUR), a principal component of the Asian spice turmeric, has been shown to have anti-cancer effects in many tumor types. However, a detailed mechanism regarding CUR induced tumor cell killing remain to be comprehensively explored. Using two head neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell lines FaDu (hypopharyngeal) and Cal27 (tongue), we demonstrated a novel mechanism by which CUR levies the cytotoxic effect. We found that CUR induced upregulation of pro-apoptotic Bik, down-regulation of survival signaling by AKT and NF-κB prior to the induction of the caspase-cascade reduction of cell proliferation, are primary mechanisms of CUR-induced cell death, thus providing insights into the anti-tumor activity of CUR in HNSCC cells.

Keywords: Curcumin, Bik, caspase-9, caspase-3, apoptosis, squamous cell carcinoma, natural product, head and neck cancer

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How to cite this article:
Xi Y, Gao H, Callaghan MU, Fribley AM, Garshott DM, Xu ZX, Zeng Q, Li YL. Induction of BCL2-Interacting Killer, BIK, is Mediated for Anti-Cancer Activity of Curcumin in Human Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells. J Cancer 2015; 6(4):327-332. doi:10.7150/jca.11185. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v06p0327.htm