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The effects of turmeric (curcumin) on tumor suppressor protein (p53) and estrogen receptor (ERα) in breast cancer cells

Authors Hallman K, Aleck K, Dwyer B, Lloyd V, Quigley M, Sitto N, Siebert AE, Dinda S

Received 26 October 2016

Accepted for publication 15 December 2016

Published 10 March 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 153—161


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pranela Rameshwar

Kelly Hallman, Katie Aleck, Brigitte Dwyer, Victoria Lloyd, Meghan Quigley, Nada Sitto, Amy E Siebert, Sumi Dinda

School of Health Sciences, Prevention Research Center, Oakland University, Rochester, MI, USA

Abstract: Curcumin (CUR) is a compound that has antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. In this study, we have analyzed the effects of CUR on the expression of ERα and p53 in the presence of hormones and anti-hormones in breast cancer cells. Cells were cultured in a medium containing charcoal-stripped fetal bovine serum to deplete any endogenous steroids and treated with CUR at varying concentrations or in combination with hormones and anti-hormones. Protein analysis revealed a relative decrease in the levels of p53 and ERα upon treatment with 5–60 µM CUR. In cell proliferation studies, CUR alone caused a 10-fold decrease compared with the treatment with estrogen, which suggests its antiproliferative effects. Delineating the role of CUR in the regulation of p53, ERα, and their mechanisms of action may be important in understanding the influence of CUR on tumor suppressors and hormone receptors in breast cancer.

Keywords: breast cancer, tumor suppressors, p53, estrogen, anti-estrogens, female sex steroids, turmeric

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