Curcumin-induced heme oxygenase-1 expression plays a negative role for its anti-cancer effect in bladder cancers

Szu Yuan Wu, Ying Ray Lee, Chin Chin Huang, Yi Zhen Li, Yi Sheng Chang, Chu Yi Yang, Jiann Der Wu, Yi Wen Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Some phytochemicals with the characteristics of cytotoxicity and anti-metastasis has generated intense interest among the invasive cancer study. Curcumin, one of these anti-cancer phytochemicals, has been reported to induce the cytoprotective enzyme heme oxygenase-1 expression. Since heme oxygenase-1 has been suggested to enhance cancer cell invasion, we investigated the anti-invasive effect of curcumin when heme oxygenase-1 was knocked down in vitro, and the heme oxygenase-1 expression after curcumin treatment in vivo. Curcumin inhibited cell viability and the MMP-2/9 activities of human bladder cancer cells. At 10μM, curcumin inhibited cell viability and cell invasive activity by 15% and 40%, respectively. Ten micrometer curcumin increased the intracellular reactive oxygen species concentration and heme oxygenase-1 protein and mRNA expression in bladder cancer cells. The anti-invasive activity of curcumin was elevated when heme oxygenase-1 was knocked down by siRNA or inhibited by pharmacological inhibitor. In vivo, curcumin induced heme oxygenase-1 protein expression in the lung tissue of murine lung metastasis tumor model and in the bladder tissue of murine orthotopic bladder tumor model. Taken together, our data suggest that curcumin-induced heme oxygenase-1 attenuates the anti-invasive effect of curcumin in cancer therapy, and co-treatment by heme oxygenase-1 inhibitor enhances the anti-invasive activity of curcumin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3530-3536
Number of pages7
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Animal model
  • Bladder cancer
  • Curcumin
  • Heme oxygenase-1
  • Invasion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Toxicology


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