Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Inhibition of carcinogen induced c-Ha-ras and c-fos proto-oncogenes expression by dietary curcumin

Porn-ngarm Limtrakul*, Songyot Anuchapreeda, Suwiwek Lipigorngoson and Floyd W Dunn

Author Affiliations

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50200

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Cancer 2001, 1:1  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-1-1

Published: 17 January 2001

Abstract

Background

We investigated the chemopreventive action of dietary curcumin on 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA)-initiated and 12,0-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-promoted skin tumor formation in Swiss albino mice. Curcumin, a yellow coloring matter isolated from roots of Curcuma longa Linn, is a phenolic compound possessing antioxidant, free radical scavenger, and antiinflammatory properties. It has been shown by previously reported work that TPA-induced skin tumors were inhibited by topical application of curcumin, and curcumin has been shown to inhibit a variety of biological activities of TPA. Topical application of curcumin was reported to inhibit TPA-induced c-fos, c-jun and c-myc gene expression in mouse skin. This paper reports the effects of orally administered curcumin, which was consumed as a dietary component at concentrations of 0.2 % or 1 %, in ad libitum feeding.

Results

Animals in which tumors had been initiated with DMBA and promoted with TPA experienced significantly fewer tumors and less tumor volume if they ingested either 0.2% or 1% curcumin diets. Also, the dietary consumption of curcumin resulted in a significantly decreased expression of ras and fos proto-oncogenes in the tumorous skin, as measured by enhanced chemiluminesence Western blotting detection system (Amersham).

Conclusions

Whereas earlier work demonstrated that topical application of curcumin to mouse skin inhibited TPA-induced expression of c-fos, c-jun and c-myc oncogenes, our results are the first to show that orally consumed curcumin significantly inhibited DMBA- and TPA-induced ras and fos gene expression in mouse skin.