Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.353, No.4, 1040-1045, 2007
Curcumin induces pro-apoptotic endoplasmic reticulum stress in human leukemia HL-60 cells
Curcumin has been shown to induce apoptosis in many cancer cells. However, the molecular mechanism(s) responsible for curcumin-induced apoptosis is not well understood and most probably involves several pathways. In HL-60 cells, curcumin induced apoptosis and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress as evidenced by the survival molecules such as phosphorylated protein kinase-like ER-resident kinase, phosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor-2 alpha, glucose-regulated protein-78, and the apoptotic molecules such as caspase-4 and CAAT/enhancer binding protein homologous protein (CHOP). Inhibition of caspase-4 activity by z-LEVD-FMK, blockage of CHOP expression by small interfering RNA, and treatment with salubrinal, an ER inhibitor, significantly reduced curcumin-induced apoptosis. Removing two double bonds in curcumin, which was speculated to form Michael adducts with thiols in secretory proteins, resulted in a loss of the ability of curcumin to induce apoptosis as well as ER stress. Thus, the present study shows that curcumin-induced apoptosis is associated with its ability to cause ER stress. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.