Curcumin sensitizes tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-mediated apoptosis through CHOP-independent DR5 upregulation

Eun Mi Jung, Jong-Wook Park, Kyeong Sook Choi, Jeen-Woo Park, Hyung Il Lee, Kyung-Seop Lee, Taeg Kyu Kwon
Carcinogenesis 2006, 27 (10): 2008-17
Death receptor DR5 (DR5/TRAIL-R2) is an apoptosis-inducing membrane receptor for tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). In this study, we showed that curcumin, a plant product containing the phenolic phytochemical, is a potent enhancer of TRAIL-induced apoptosis through upregulation of DR5 expression. Both treatment with DR5/Fc chimeric protein and silencing of DR5 expression using small interfering RNA (siRNA) attenuated curcumin plus TRAIL-induced apoptosis, showing that the critical role of DR5 in this cell death. Curcumin also induced the expression of a potential pro-apoptotic gene, C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), both at its mRNA and protein levels. However, suppression of CHOP expression by small interfering RNA did not abrogate the curcumin-mediated induction of DR5 and the cell death induced by curcumin plus TRAIL, demonstrating that CHOP is not involved in curcumin-induced DR5 upregulation. Taken together, the present study demonstrates that curcumin enhances TRAIL-induced apoptosis by CHOP-independent upregulation of DR5.

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