Nucleophosmin (NPM/B23) is a nucleolar phosphoprotein involved in cellular response to many different stimuli. Herein, we studied the molecular mechanism of NPM/B23 induction by curcumin, a natural AP-1 inhibitor with antitumor properties. Exposure to 5–30 μM curcumin significantly and dose-dependently increased the level of NPM/B23 in non-transformed NIH 3T3 cells but not HeLa cells and F9 cells. Besides, the transformed F9 and HeLa cells are more sensitive to curcumin-induced cell death and growth inhibition than NIH 3T3 cells. Overexpression of c-Jun, but not c-Fos, decreased 40% of NPM/B23 and enhanced the sensitivity of NIH 3T3 cells to 30 μM curcumin. Furthermore, down-regulation of NPM/B23 by transfection with NPM/B23 antisense plasmid enhanced the sensitivity to curcumin-induced cell death and growth inhibition. These results indicated that NPM/B23 expression regulates cellular sensitivity to curcumin. Besides, NPM/B23 knockdown may facilitate as a novel strategy to promote the sensitivity of cancer cells to curcumin.
The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 22(1),46-52