Impact of Curcumin, Raspberry Extract, and Neem Leaf Extract on Rel Protein-Regulated Cell Death/Radiosensitization in Pancreatic Cancer Cells

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Objectives:Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) plays an intrinsic role in promoting growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis in pancreatic cancer (PC) and serves as a mechanism underlying therapeutic resistance. Accordingly, we investigated the efficacy of bioactive phytochemicals in inhibiting radiotherapy (RT)-induced NF-κB activity, signaling, and NF-κB-dependent regulation of cell death.Methods:Panc-1, BxPC-3, and MIA PaCa-2 cells exposed to 10 Gy (single high dose [SDR]) or 2 Gy/d for 5 days (fractionated radiation [FIR]) with or without curcumin (CUR), neem leaf extract (NLE), or black raspberry extract (RSE) were analyzed.Results:Radiotherapy profoundly induced NF-κB-DNA-binding activity with relatively robust activation after FIR. Curcumin, NLE, and RSE significantly inhibited both constitutive and RT-induced NF-κB. Furthermore, quantitative polymerase chain reaction profiling of 88 NF-κB pathway molecules demonstrated that CUR, NLE, and RSE comprehensively, yet differentially inhibited FIR/SDR-induced genes. Functionally, CUR, NLE, and RSE markedly conferred RT-inhibited cell viability/survival, robustly activated caspase-3/7 activity, and subsequent cell death. More importantly, NF-κB overexpression and silencing studies demonstrate that these compounds potentiate RT-induced cell death by targeting RT-induced NF-κB.Conclusions:These data strongly imply that CUR, NLE, and RSE may serve as effective "deliverables" to potentiate RT in PC cure and further throw light that these phytochemicals-induced cell killing may involve selective regulation of RT-induced NF-κB.

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