AMPK mediates curcumin-induced cell death in CaOV3 ovarian cancer cells
- Authors: Wei Pan, Hui Yang, Cong Cao, Xiuzu Song, Brittany Wallin, Rebecca Kivlin, Shan Lu, Gang Hu, Wen Di, Yinsheng Wan
Published online on: Monday, December 1, 2008
- Pages: 1553-1559
- DOI: 10.3892/or_00000179
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), an evolutionarily conserved serine/threonine protein kinase, serves as an energy sensor in all eukaryotic cells. Recent findings suggest that AMPK activation strongly suppresses cell proliferation and induces cell apoptosis in a variety of cancer cells. Our study demonstrated that chemopreventive agent curcumin strongly activates AMPK in a p38-dependent manner in CaOV3 ovarian cancer cells. Pretreatment of cells with compound C (AMPK inhibitor) and SB203580 (p38 inhibitor) attenuates curcumin-induced cell death. We also observed that curcumin induces p53 phosphorylation (Ser 15) and both compound C and SB203580 pretreatment inhibit p53 phosphorylation. Collectively, our data suggest that AMPK is a new molecular target of curcumin and AMPK activation partially contributes to the cytotoxic effect of curcumin in ovarian cancer cells.