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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(1):179-84.

Curcumin and its analogues (PGV-0 and PGV-1) enhance sensitivity of resistant MCF-7 cells to doxorubicin through inhibition of HER2 and NF-kB activation.

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Cancer Chemoprevention Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jalan Sekip Utara Yogyakarta, Japan E-mail :


Chemoresistance of breast cancer to doxorubicin is mediated mainly through activation of NF-kB and over expression of HER2. Curcumin and its analogues (PGV-0 and PGV-1) exert cytotoxic effects on T47D breast cancer cells. Suppression of NF-kB activation is suggested to contribute to this activity. The present study aimed to explore the effects of curcumin, PGV-0, and PGV-1 singly and in combination with doxorubicin on MCF-7/Dox cells featuring over-expression of HER2. In MTT assays, curcumin, PGV-0, and PGV-1 showed cytotoxicity effects against MCF-7/Dox with IC50 values of 80 μM, 21 μM, and 82 μM respectively. These compounds increased MCF-7/Dox sensitivity to doxorubicin. Cell cycle distribution analysis exhibited that the combination of curcumin and its analogues with Dox increased sub G-1 cell populations. Curcumin and PGV-1 but not PGV-0 decreased localization of p65 into the nucleus induced by Dox, indicating that activation of NF- kB was inhibited. Molecular docking of curcumin, PGV-0, and PGV-1 demonstrated high affinity to HER2 at ATP binding site. This interaction were directly comparable with those of ATP and lapatinib. These findings suggested that curcumin, PGV-0 and PGV-1 enhance the Dox cytotoxicity to MCF-7 cells through inhibition of HER2 activity and NF-kB activation.

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