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Oncol Lett. 2015 Sep;10(3):1297-1302. Epub 2015 Jul 9.

Curcumin suppresses migration and invasion of human endometrial carcinoma cells.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Medical School of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710004, P.R. China.
Center for Translational Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital, Medical School of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710061, P.R. China.


Curcumin, a widely used Chinese herbal medicine, has historically been used in anti-cancer therapies. However, the anti-metastatic effect and molecular mechanism of curcumin in endometrial carcinoma (EC) are still poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to detect the anti-metastatic effects of curcumin and the associated mechanism(s) in EC. Based on assays carried out in EC cell lines, it was observed that curcumin inhibited EC cell migration and invasion in vitro. Furthermore, following treatment with curcumin for 24 h, there was a decrease in the expression levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 as well as proteinase activity in EC cells. Moreover, curcumin treatment significantly decreased the levels of the phosphorylated form of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2. MEK1 overexpression partially blocked the anti-metastatic effects of curcumin. Combined treatment with ERK inhibitor U0126 and curcumin resulted in a synergistic reduction in MMP-2/-9 expression; the invasive capabilities of HEC-1B cells were also inhibited. In conclusion, curcumin inhibits tumor cell migration and invasion by reducing the expression and activity of MMP-2/9 via the suppression of the ERK signaling pathway, suggesting that curcumin is a potential therapeutic agent for EC.


curcumin; endometrial carcinoma; extracellular signal-regulated kinase; invasion

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