The effects of curcumin on proliferation, apoptosis, invasion, and NEDD4 expression in pancreatic cancer

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Pancreatic cancer (PC) is one of the most fatal cancers worldwide. The incidence and death rates are still increasing for PC. Curcumin is the biologically active diarylheptanoid constituent of the spice turmeric, which exerts its anticancer properties in various human cancers including PC. In particular, accumulating evidence has proved that curcumin targets numerous therapeutically important proteins in cell signaling pathways. The neural precursor cell expressed developmentally down-regulated protein 4 (NEDD4) is an E3 HECT ubiquitin ligase and is frequently over-expressed in various cancers. It has reported that NEDD4 might facilitate tumorigenesis via targeting and degradation of multiple tumor suppressor proteins including PTEN. Hence, in the present study we explore whether curcumin inhibits NEDD4, resulting in the suppression of cell growth, migration and invasion in PC cells. We found that curcumin inhibited cell proliferation and triggered apoptosis in PC, which is associated with increased expression of PTEN and p73. These results suggested that inhibition of NEDD4 might be beneficial to the antitumor properties of curcumin on PC treatments.

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