Down-regulation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-1 and EGFR-2 (also called HER2/neu) activity represents one possible mechanism by which curcumin suppresses the growth of breast cancer cells. Almost 30% of breast cancer cases overexpress the HER2/neu proto-oncogene , and both HER2 and EGF receptors stimulate proliferation of breast cancer cells. Overexpression of these two proteins correlates with progression of human breast cancer and poor patient prognosis . Curcumin has been shown to down-regulate the activity of EGFR [16,17] and HER2/neu [16, 17] and to deplete the cells of the HER2/neu protein .
Prostate cancer cell lines LNCaP and PC-3 were treated with curcumin, and its effects on signal transduction and expression of androgen receptor (AR) and AR-related cofactors were analyzed. The results showed that curcumin down-regulated transactivation and expression of AR and CREB (cAMP response element-binding protein-binding protein. It also inhibited the transforming activities of both cell lines as evinced by reduced colony-forming ability in soft agar. These findings suggest that curcumin has a potential therapeutic effect on prostate cancer cells through down-regulation of AR and AR-related cofactors .
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