Potential anticancer activity of curcumin analogs containing sulfone on human cancer cells

Qiuyan Zhang, Dongli Li, Yue Liu, Hui Wang, Changyuan Zhang, Huarong Huang, Yan He, Xuan Chen, Zhiyun Du, Xi Zheng

Abstract


Three curcumin analogs (S1-S3) containing sulfone were investigated for their effects on human prostate cancer PC-3, colon cancer HT-29, lung cancer H1299 and pancreatic cancer BxPC-3 cells. The three compounds were approximately 16- to 96-fold more active than curcumin in these cell lines as determined by the MTT assay. The effects of these compounds on cell growth were further studied in prostate cancer PC-3 cells in both two dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) cultures. S1-S3 strongly inhibited the growth and induced cell death in PC-3 cells, and the effects of these compounds were associated with suppression of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) transcriptional activity. Moreover, treatment of PC-3 cells with all three compounds caused a decrease in the level of phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (p-STAT3) (Tyr705), but not p-STAT3 (Ser727). Only S1 and S2 decreased the presence of phosphorylated Akt (p-Akt) in PC-3 cells. These curcumin analogs warrant further in vivo studies for anticancer activities in suitable animal models.

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