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PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e37960. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037960. Epub 2012 May 25.

Curcumin blocks small cell lung cancer cells migration, invasion, angiogenesis, cell cycle and neoplasia through Janus kinase-STAT3 signalling pathway.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, Liaoning Cancer Hospital and Institute, Shenyang, Liaoning Province, China.


Curcumin, the active component of turmeric, has been shown to protect against carcinogenesis and prevent tumor development. However, little is known about its anti-tumor mechanism in small cell lung cancer (SCLC). In this study, we found that curcumin can inhibit SCLC cell proliferation, cell cycle, migration, invasion and angiogenesis through suppression of the STAT3. SCLC cells were treated with curcumin (15 µmol/L) and the results showed that curcumin was effective in inhibiting STAT3 phosphorylation to downregulate of an array of STAT3 downstream targets ,which contributed to suppression of cell proliferation, loss of colony formation, depression of cell migration and invasion. Curcumin also suppressed the expression of proliferative proteins (Survivin, Bcl-X(L) and Cyclin B1), and invasive proteins (VEGF, MMP-2, MMP-7 and ICAM-1). Knockdown of STAT3 expression by siRNA was able to induce anti-invasive effects in vitro. In contrast, activation of STAT3 upstream of interleukin 6 (IL-6) leads to the increased cell proliferation ,cell survival, angiogenesis, invasion, migration and tumor growth. Our findings illustrate the biologic significance of IL-6/JAK/STAT3 signaling in SCLC progression and provide novel evidence that the pathway may be a new potential target for therapy of SCLC. It was concluded that curcumin is a potent agent in the inhibition of STAT3 with favorable pharmacological activity,and curcumin may have translational potential as an effective cancer therapeutic or preventive agent for SCLC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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