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The Chemopreventive Polyphenol Curcumin Prevents Hematogenous Breast Cancer Metastases in Immunodeficient MiceBachmeier B.E.1 · Nerlich A.G.2 · Iancu C.M.1,3 · Cilli M.4 · Schleicher E.5 · Vené R.6 · Dell'Eva R.6 · Jochum M.1 · Albini A.6 · Pfeffer U.7
1Department of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Biochemistry, Surgical Hospital, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich,2Institute of Pathology, Academic Hospital Munich-Bogenhausen,3Department of Biochemistry, University Bucharest,4Animal Models Unit, National Cancer Research Institute, Genoa,5Department of Medicine IV, University of Tübingen,6IRCCS Multimedica, Milan,7Functional Genomics, National Cancer Research Institute, Genoa Corresponding Author
Beatrice E. Bachmeier, PhD
Dept. of Clin Chem and Clin Biochem, Ludwig-Maximilians-University
Nussbaumstr. 20, D-80336 München (Germany)
Tel. +49-89-5160-2650, Fax: +49-89-5160-4740
Dissemination of metastatic cells probably occurs long before diagnosis of the primary tumor. Metastasis during early phases of carcinogenesis in high risk patients is therefore a potential prevention target. The plant polyphenol Curcumin has been proposed for dietary prevention of cancer. We therefore examined its effects on the human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 in vitroand in a mouse metastasis model. Curcumin strongly induces apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 cells in correlation with reduced activation of the survival pathway NFĸB, as a consequence of diminished ΙĸB and p65 phosphorylation. Curcumin also reduces the expression of major matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) due to reduced NFĸ B activity and transcriptional downregulation of AP-1. NFĸ B/p65 silencing is sufficient to downregulate c-jun and MMP expression. Reduced NFĸ B/AP-1 activity and MMP expression lead to diminished invasion through a reconstituted basement membrane and to a significantly lower number of lung metastases in immunodeficient mice after intercardiac injection of 231 cells (p=0.0035). 68% of Curcumin treated but only 17% of untreated animals showed no or very few lung metastases, most likely as a consequence of down-regulation of NFĸ B/AP-1 dependent MMP expression and direct apoptotic effects on circulating tumor cells but not on established metastases. Dietary chemoprevention of metastases appears therefore feasible.
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