The expression of “growth arrest and DNA damage inducible genes 45 and 153” is related to apoptotic induction of cells. GADD45 is an effector gene of the tumor suppressor p53, and GADD153 is associated with cellular function of cancer prevention. Curcumin, isolated from the plant Curcuma longa (LINN), has been investigated as a promising cancer preventive in food because curcumin, a phenolic and coloring compound, is widely ingested in the Indian subcontinent. However, the exact mechanisms of action of curcumin have not yet been clearly elucidated. Based on our successful results with green tea catechins as cancer preventive, we studied the relationship between the expression of GADD45 and 153 and apoptotic induction in human lung cancer cell line PC-9. In our study curcumin increased the expression of GADD45 and 153 in a p53-independent manner. Curcumin also inhibited the growth of PC-9 cells and induced G1/S arrest of the cell-cycle followed by strong induction of apoptosis. Treatment with GADD45 and 153 small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) inhibited the apoptotic induction in PC-9 cells by curcumin. Moreover, curcumin induced the expression of cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor genes p21 and p27, while it inhibited the expression of numerous genes, including Bcl-2, cyclin D1, CDK2, CDK4 and CDK6. All the results with PC-9 cells suggest that the up-regulation of GADD45 and 153 by curcumin is a prime mechanism in the anticancer activity of curcumin.
2010 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan