Curcumin inhibits bladder cancer stem cells by suppressing sonic hedgehog pathway. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Curcumin inhibits bladder cancer stem cells by suppressing Sonic Hedgehog pathway.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017 11 4 ;493(1):521-527. Epub 2017 Sep 4. PMID: 28870814
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) is responsible for the recurrence of human cancers. Thus, targeting CSCs is considered to be a valid way for human cancer treatment. Curcumin is a major component of phytochemicals that exerts potent anticancer activities. However, the effect of curcumin on bladder cancer stem cells (BCSCs) remains to be elucidated. In this study, we investigated the mechanism of curcumin suppressing bladder cancer stem cells. In this study, UM-UC-3 and EJ cells were cultured in serum-free medium (SFM) to form cell spheres that was characterized as BCSCs. Then cell spheres were separately treated with different concentrations of curcumin and purmorphamine. Cell cycle analysis were used to determine the percentage of cells in different phases. Western blot and quantitative real-time PCR analysis were used to detect the expression of relative molecules. Immunofluorescence staining analysis were also utilized to measure the protein level of CD44. We found that CSC markers, including CD44, CD133, ALDH1-A1, OCT-4 and Nanog, were obviously highly expressed in cell spheres. Moreover, we observed that curcumin reduced the cell spheres formation, decreased the expression of CSC markers, suppressed cell proliferation and induced cell apoptosis. We also found that curcumin inhibited the activation of Shh pathway, while the inhibitory effects of curcumin on BCSCs could be weakened by upregulation of Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) pathway. Altogether, these data suggested that curcumin inhibited the activities of BCSCs through suppressing Shh pathway, which might be an effective chemopreventive agent for bladder cancer intervention.