2021 Volume 15 Issue 2 Pages 66-72
Curcumin, a major component of turmeric, is known to exhibit multiple biological functions including antitumor activity. We previously reported that the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) scaffold protein c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK)-associated leucine zipper protein (JLP) reduces curcumin-induced cell death by modulating p38 MAPK and autophagy through the regulation of lysosome positioning. In this study, we investigated the role of JNK/stress-activated protein kinase-associated protein 1 (JSAP1), a JLP family member, in curcumin-induced stress, and found that JSAP1 also attenuates curcumin-induced cell death. However, JSAP1 knockout showed no or little effect on the activation of JNK and p38 MAPKs in response to curcumin. In addition, small molecule inhibitors of JNK and p38 MAPKs did not increase curcumin-induced cell death. Furthermore, JSAP1 depletion did not impair lysosome positioning and autophagosome-lysosome fusion. Instead, we noticed substantial autolysosome accumulation accompanied by an inefficient autophagic flux in JSAP1 knockout cells. Taken together, these results indicate that JSAP1 is involved in curcumin-induced cell death differently from JLP, and may suggest that JSAP1 plays a role in autophagosome degradation and its dysfunction results in enhanced cell death. The findings of this study may contribute to the development of novel therapeutic approaches using curcumin for cancer.