Abstract Title:

Inhibitory effects of curcumin and capsaicin on phorbol ester-induced activation of eukaryotic transcription factors, NF-kappaB and AP-1.

Abstract Source:

Biofactors. 2000;12(1-4):107-12. PMID: 11216470

Abstract Author(s):

Y J Surh, S S Han, Y S Keum, H J Seo, S S Lee

Article Affiliation:

College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University, Kwanak-gu, Korea. [email protected]


Recently, considerable attention has been focused on identifying dietary and medicinal phytochemicals that can inhibit, retard or reverse the multi-stage carcinogenesis. Spices and herbs contain phenolic substances with potent antioxidative and chemopreventive properties. Curcumin, a yellow colouring agent from turmeric and capsaicin, a pungent principle of red pepper exhibit profound anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic activities. Two well-defined eukaryotic transcription factors, nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) and activator protein 1 (AP-1) have been implicated in pathogenesis of many human diseases including cancer. These transcription factors are known to be activated by a wide array of external stimuli, such as tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), tumor necrosis factor, reactive oxygen species, bacterial lipopolysaccharide, and ultraviolet. In the present study, we found that topical application of TPA onto dorsal skin of female ICR mice resulted in marked activation of epidermal NF-kappaB and AP-1. Curcumin and capsaicin, when topically applied prior to TPA, significantly attenuated TPA-induced activation of each transcription factor in mouse skin. Likewise, both compounds inhibited NF-kappaB and AP-1 activation in cultured human promyelocytic leukemia (HL-60) cells stimulated with TPA. Based on these findings, it is likely that curcumin and capsaicin exert anti-tumor promotional effects through suppression of the tumor promoter-induced activation of transcription factors, NF-kappaB and AP-1.

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