In Ph+ ALL mouse models, curcumin exhibited synergetic anti-leukemia effects with imatinib.

PMID:  Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2015 Aug ;65:1-11. Epub 2015 May 12. PMID: 25979368 Abstract Title:  Curcumin potentiates the anti-leukemia effects of imatinib by downregulation of the AKT/mTOR pathway and BCR/ABL gene expression in Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Abstract:  Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL) is triggered by BCR/ABL and SRC family tyrosine kinases. They interact with each other and subsequently activate downstream growth-signaling pathways, including Raf/MEK/ERK, Akt/mTOR, and STAT5 pathways. Although imatinib is the standard treatment for Ph+ leukemia, response rate of Ph+ ALL to imatinib is low, relapse is frequent and quick. Studies have documented the potential anti-tumor activities of curcumin. However, whether curcumin can be used in the therapy for Ph+ ALL remains obscure. Here, we reported that curcumin induced apoptosis by inhibition of AKT/mTOR and ABL/STAT5 signaling, down-regulation of BCR/ABL expression, and induction of the BCL2/BAX imbalance. Curcumin exerted synergetic anti-leukemia effects with imatinib by inhibition of the imatinib-mediated overactivation of AKT/mTOR signaling and down-regulation of BCR/ABL gene expression. In primary samples from Ph+ ALL patients, curcumin inhibited cellular proliferation and down-regulated constitutive activation of growth-signaling pathways not only in newly diagnosed patients but also in imatinib-resistant patients. In Ph+ ALL mouse models, curcumin exhibited synergetic anti-leukemia effects with imatinib. These results demonstrated that curcumin might be a promising agent for Ph+ ALL patients.

Co-administration of curcumin plus piperine potentiates the hypocholesterolemic effects of curcumin by increasing the activity and gene expression.

PMID:  Exp Ther Med. 2014 Jul ;8(1):260-266. Epub 2014 May 16. PMID: 24944632 Abstract Title:  Piperine potentiates the hypocholesterolemic effect of curcumin in rats fed on a high fat diet. Abstract:  It has previously been demonstrated that curcumin possesses a hypocholesterolemic effect and potentiates numerous pharmacological effects of curcumin, however, the mechanisms underlying this hypocholesterolemic effect and the interaction between curcumin and piperine remain to be elucidated. In the present study, male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed on a high-fat diet (HFD) to establish a hyperlipidemia (HLP) model. Co-administration of curcumin plus piperine was found to decrease the levels of total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the serum and liver, as well as increase the levels of fecal TC, TG and total bile acid, compared with administration of curcumin alone. Curcumin plus piperine also markedly increased the levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Furthermore, compared with administration of curcumin alone, administration of curcumin plus piperine resulted in a significant upregulation of the activity and gene expression of apolipoprotein AI (ApoAI), lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT), cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1) and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR). In conclusion, these results indicated that co-administration of curcumin plus piperine potentiates the hypocholesterolemic effects of curcumin by increasing the activity and gene expression of ApoAI, CYP7A1, LCAT and LDLR, providing a promising combination for the treatment of HLP.

EGCG significantly lowered the concentration of curcumin required to inhibit the AKT-mTOR pathway, reduce cell proliferation and induce apoptosis.

PMID:  Int J Clin Oncol. 2013 Jun ;18(3):380-8. Epub 2012 Feb 15. PMID: 22350026 Abstract Title:  Epigallocatechin-3-gallate potentiates curcumin’s ability to suppress uterine leiomyosarcoma cell growth and induce apoptosis. Abstract:  BACKGROUND: Uterine leiomyosarcoma (LMS) has an unfavorable response to standard chemotherapeutic regimens. Two natural occurring compounds, curcumin and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), are reported to have anti-cancer activity. We previously reported that curcumin reduced uterine LMS cell proliferation by targeting the AKT-mTOR pathway. However, challenges remain in overcoming curcumin’s low bioavailability.METHODS: The human LMS cell line SKN was used. The effect of EGCG, curcumin or their combination on cell growth was detected by MTS assay. Their effect on AKT, mTOR, and S6 was detected by Western blotting. The induction of apoptosis was determined by Western blotting using cleaved-PARP specific antibody, caspase-3 activity and TUNEL assay. Intracellular curcumin level was determined by a spectrophotometric method. Antibody against EGCG cell surface receptor, 67-kDa laminin receptor (67LR), was used to investigate the role of the receptor in curcumin’s increased potency by EGCG.RESULTS: In this study, we showed that the combination of EGCG and curcumin significantly reduced SKN cell proliferation more than either drug alone. The combination inhibited AKT, mTOR, and S6 phosphorylation, and induced apoptosis at a much lower curcumin concentration than previously reported. EGCG enhanced the incorporation of curcumin. 67LR antibody partially rescued cell proliferation suppression by the combination treatment, but was not involved in the EGCG-enhanced intracellular incorporation of curcumin.CONCLUSIONS: EGCG significantly lowered the concentration of curcumin required to inhibit the AKT-mTOR pathway, reduce cell proliferation and induce apoptosis in uterine LMS cells by enhancing intracellular incorporation of curcumin, but the process was independent of 67LR.