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Oncol Rep. 2016 May;35(5):2651-6. doi: 10.3892/or.2016.4682. Epub 2016 Mar 17.

Curcumin inhibits intracellular fatty acid synthase and induces apoptosis in human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells.

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College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, P.R. China.
School of Kinesiology and Health, Capital University of Physical Education and Sports, Beijing 100191, P.R. China.
State Forestry Administration, International Centre for Bamboo and Rattan Academy of Bioresource Utilization, Beijing 100102, P.R. China.
Gaubau Kender (Aletai, Xinjiang) Limited Company, Aletai 836500, P.R. China.


High levels of fatty acid synthase (FAS) expression have been found in many tumors, including prostate, breast, and ovarian cancers, and inhibition of FAS has been reported to obstruct tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. Curcumin is one of the major active ingredients of Curcuma longa, which has been proven to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. In the present study, we investigated the potential activity of curcumin as a FAS inhibitor for chemoprevention of breast cancer. As a result, curcumin induced human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cell apoptosis with the half-inhibitory concentration value of 3.63 ± 0.26 µg/ml, and blocked FAS activity, expression and mRNA level in a dose-dependent manner. Curcumin also regulated B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), Bax and p-Akt protein expression in MDA-MB-231 cells. Moreover, FAS knockdown showed similar effect as curcumin. All these results suggested that curcumin may induce cell apoptosis via inhibiting FAS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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