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Int J Oncol. 2014 Jan;44(1):238-46. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2013.2175. Epub 2013 Nov 14.

Curcumin-loaded nanoparticles enhance apoptotic cell death of U2OS human osteosarcoma cells through the Akt-Bad signaling pathway.

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Department of Biological Science and Technology, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan, R.O.C.


Curcumin has potential anticancer activity and has been shown to be involved in several signaling pathways including differentiation and apoptosis. Our previous study showed that water-soluble PLGA curcumin nanoparticles (Cur-NPs) triggered apoptotic cell death through regulation of the function of MDR1 and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cisplatin-resistant human oral cancer CAR cells. In this study, we investigated the anti-proliferative effects of Cur-NPs on human osteosarcoma U2OS cells. The morphology of Cur-NPs showed spherical shape by TEM analysis. The encapsulation efficiency of curcumin in Cur-NPs prepared by single emulsion was 90.5 ± 3.0%. Our results demonstrated that the curcumin fragments on the mass spectrum of Cur-NPs and the peaks of curcumin standard could be found on the Cur-NPs spectrum by 1H-NMR spectra analysis. Cur-NPs induced anti-proliferative effects and apoptosis in U2OS cells. Compared to the untreated U2OS cells, more detectable amount of Cur-NPs was found inside the treated U2OS cells. Cur-NPs induced DNA fragmentation and apoptotic bodies in U2OS cells. Both the activity and the expression levels of caspases-3/-7 and caspase-9 were elevated in the treated U2OS cells. Cur-NPs upregulated the protein expression levels of cleaved caspase-3/caspase-9, cytochrome c, Apaf-1 and Bad and downregulated the protein expression level of p-Akt in U2OS cells. These results suggest Cur-NPs are effective in enhancing apoptosis in human osteosarcoma cells and thus could provide potential for cancer therapeutics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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