Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 4803–4808 | Cite as

Curcumin inhibits metastatic progression of breast cancer cell through suppression of urokinase-type plasminogen activator by NF-kappa B signaling pathways

  • Hong Zong
  • Feng Wang
  • Qing-xia Fan
  • Liu-xing WangEmail author


Curcumin (1,7-bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1,6-heptadiene-3,5-dione), is extracted from the plant Curcuma longa. It was recently reported for its anticancer effect on several types of cancer cells in vitro however, the molecular mechanisms of this anticancer effect are not fully understood. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of curcumin on human mammary epithelial carcinoma MCF-7 cells. Cells were treated with curcumin and examined for cell viability by MTT assay. The cells invasion was demonstrated by transwell assay. The binding activity of NF-κB to DNA was examined in nuclear extracts using Trans-AM NF-κB ELISA kit. Western blot was performed to detect the effect of curcumin on the expression of uPA. Our results showed that curcumin dose-dependently inhibited (P < 0.05) the proliferation of MCF-7 cells. Meanwhile, the adhesion and invasion ability of MCF-7 cells were sharply inhibited when treated with different concentrations of curcumin. Curcumin also significantly decreased (P < 0.05) the expression of uPA and NF-κB DNA binding activity, respectively. It is concluded that curcumin inhibits the adhesion and invasion of MCF-7 cells through down-regulating the protein expression of uPA via of NF-κB activation. Accordingly, the therapeutic potential of curcumin for breast cancer deserves further study.


Curcumin Breast cancer cell Metastatic progression uPA NF-kappa B 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hong Zong
    • 1
  • Feng Wang
    • 1
  • Qing-xia Fan
    • 1
  • Liu-xing Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of OncologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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