Curcumin from the rhizome of the Curcuma longa plant has been noted for its chemo-preventative and chemo-therapy activities, and it inhibits the growth of many types of human cancer cell lines. In this study, the mechanisms of cell death involved in curcumin-induced growth inhibition, including cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis in human tongue cancer SCC-4 cells, were investigated. Herein, we observed that curcumin inhibited cell growth of SCC-4 cells and induced cell death in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment of SCC-4 cells with curcumin caused a moderate and promoted the G 2/M phase arrest, which was accompanied with decreases in cyclin B/CDK1 and CDC25C protein levels. Moreover, curcumin significantly induced apoptosis of SCC-4 cells with a decrease of the Bcl-2 level, reduction of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨ m), and promoted the active forms of caspase-3. Curcumin also promoted the releases of AIF and Endo G from the mitochondria in SCC-4 cells by using confocal laser microscope. Therefore, we suggest that curcumin induced apoptosis through a mitochondria-dependent pathway in SCC-4 cells. In addition, we also found that curcumin-induced apoptosis of SCC-4 cells was partly through endoplasmic reticulum stress. In conclusion, curcumin increased G 2/M phase arrest and induced apoptosis through ER stress and mitochondria-dependent pathways in SCC-4 cells.
- Endoplasmic reticulum stress
- Human tongue cancer SCC-4 cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cell Biology