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Curcumin exerts its antitumor activity through regulation of miR-7/Skp2/p21 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells

Authors Feng S, Wang Y, Zhang R, Yang G, Liang Z, Wang Z, Zhang G

Received 12 December 2016

Accepted for publication 26 March 2017

Published 2 May 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 2377—2388


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Geoffrey Pietersz

Shaoyan Feng,1,2,* Yu Wang,3,* Rongkai Zhang,4,* Guangwei Yang,5 Zibin Liang,5 Zhiwei Wang,3 Gehua Zhang1

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, 2Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, 3The Cyrus Tang Hematology Center and Collaborative Innovation Center of Hematology, Jiangsu Institute of Hematology, the First Affiliated Hospital, Soochow University, Suzhou, 4Department of Orthopaedics, 5Department of Radiation Oncology, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Curcumin, a natural polyphenol compound, exhibits tumor suppressive activity in a wide spectrum of cancers, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells. However, the exact molecular mechanisms governing this tumor suppressive activity remain elusive. Multiple studies have revealed that miRNAs are critically involved in tumorigenesis, indicating that targeting miRNAs could be a therapeutic strategy for treating human cancer. In the current study, we set out to determine whether curcumin regulates miR-7 expression in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells. We found that curcumin inhibited cell growth, induced apoptosis, retarded cell migration and invasion, and triggered cell cycle arrest in the human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell lines CNE1 and CNE2. Importantly, we observed that curcumin upregulated the expression of miR-7 and subsequently inhibited Skp2, a direct miR-7 target. Our results identified that upregulation of miR-7 by curcumin could benefit nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients.

Keywords: curcumin, nasopharyngeal cancer, miR-7, Skp2, proliferation

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