Shakibaei, Mehdi; Buhrmann, Constanze; Kraehe, Patricia; Shayan, Parviz; Lueders, Cora; Goel, Ajay
(3. January 2014):
Curcumin Chemosensitizes 5-Fluorouracil Resistant MMR-Deficient Human Colon Cancer Cells in High Density Cultures.
In: PLOS One
Treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC) remains a clinical challenge, as more than 15% of patients are resistant to 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU)-based chemotherapeutic regimens, and tumor recurrence rates can be as high as 50–60%. Cancer stem cells (CSC) are capable of surviving conventional chemotherapies that permits regeneration of original tumors. Therefore, we investigated the effectiveness of 5-FU and plant polyphenol (curcumin) in context of DNA mismatch repair (MMR) status and CSC activity in 3D cultures of CRC cells.
High density 3D cultures of CRC cell lines HCT116, HCT116+ch3 (complemented with chromosome 3) and their corresponding isogenic 5-FU-chemo-resistant derivative clones (HCT116R, HCT116+ch3R) were treated with 5-FU either without or with curcumin in time- and dose-dependent assays.
Pre-treatment with curcumin significantly enhanced the effect of 5-FU on HCT116R and HCR116+ch3R cells, in contrast to 5-FU alone as evidenced by increased disintegration of colonospheres, enhanced apoptosis and by inhibiting their growth. Curcumin and/or 5-FU strongly affected MMR-deficient CRC cells in high density cultures, however MMR-proficient CRC cells were more sensitive. These effects of curcumin in enhancing chemosensitivity to 5-FU were further supported by its ability to effectively suppress CSC pools as evidenced by decreased number of CSC marker positive cells, highlighting the suitability of this 3D culture model for evaluating CSC marker expression in a close to vivo setting.
Our results illustrate novel and previously unrecognized effects of curcumin in enhancing chemosensitization to 5-FU-based chemotherapy on DNA MMR-deficient and their chemo-resistant counterparts by targeting the CSC sub-population.