BMI1 is downregulated by the natural compound curcumin, but not by bisdemethoxycurcumin and dimethoxycurcumin

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© 2016 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society. The B-cell-specific Moloney murine leukemia virus integration site 1 (BMI1) locus encodes a 37-kD protein that is a key regulatory component of the polycomb regulatory complex 1 (PRC1). When overexpressed in various cancer types, the BMI1 protein induces cell growth and promotes tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. Curcumin, a major phytochemical in turmeric (Curcuma longa), inhibits the proliferation and survival of many types of cancer cells, both in vitro and in vivo, and has been reported to reduce BMI1 expression in breast cancer cells. In this study, effects of curcumin and two analogs (bisdemethoxycurcumin and dimethoxycurcumin) on BMI1 expression were evaluated in DLD-1 colorectal cancer cells. Bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMC) is naturally occurring in turmeric, whereas dimethoxycurcumin (DMC) is a synthetic analog of curcumin. All three compounds reduced cell survival, but only the natural compound downregulated BMI1 protein expression; curcumin significantly reduced BMI1 levels more than bisdemethoxycurcumin and dimethoxycurcumin. In addition, curcumin and BDMC inhibit survival of the DLD-1 colorectal cancer cells by inducing apoptosis, whereas DMC inhibits survival by a mechanism other than apoptosis.




Adeyeni, T. A., Khatwani, N., San, K. K., & Ezekiel, U. R. (2016). BMI1 is downregulated by the natural compound curcumin, but not by bisdemethoxycurcumin and dimethoxycurcumin. Physiological Reports, 4(16).

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