Curcumin is known to down-regulate expression of apoptosis suppressor proteins such as Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL in several cancer cell lines. We found that curcumin induces apoptosis through a mitochondrial pathway involving caspase-8, Bid cleavage, cytochrome c release, and caspase-3 activation. Our results also suggest that Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL are critical negative regulators of curcumin-induced apoptosis .
Curcumin suppresses the constitutive expression of Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL in mantle cell lymphoma  and multiple myeloma  cell lines. It also activates caspase-7 and caspase-9 and induces polyadenosine-5'-diphosphate-ribose polymerase cleavage in both cell lines. Thus, curcumin induces apoptosis by targeting several apop-totic pathways, inducing cytochrome c release, Bid cleavage, and caspase-9 and -3 activation, and by down-regulating the antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL.
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