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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 416534, 13 pages
Research Article

Polyisoprenylated Methylated Protein Methyl Esterase Is Both Sensitive to Curcumin and Overexpressed in Colorectal Cancer: Implications for Chemoprevention and Treatment

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL 32307, USA

Received 11 April 2013; Accepted 17 June 2013

Academic Editor: Shivani Soni

Copyright © 2013 Felix Amissah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Inhibition of PMPMEase, a key enzyme in the polyisoprenylation pathway, induces cancer cell death. In this study, purified PMPMEase was inhibited by the chemopreventive agent, curcumin, with a of 0.3 μM (IC50 = 12.4 μM). Preincubation of PMPMEase with 1 mM curcumin followed by gel-filtration chromatography resulted in recovery of the enzyme activity, indicative of reversible inhibition. Kinetics analysis with N-para-nitrobenzoyl-S-trans,trans-farnesylcysteine methyl ester substrate yielded values of 23.6 ± 2.7 and 85.3 ± 15.3 μM in the absence or presence of 20 μM curcumin, respectively. Treatment of colorectal cancer (Caco2) cells with curcumin resulted in concentration-dependent cell death with an EC50 of 22.0 μg/mL. PMPMEase activity in the curcumin-treated cell lysate followed a similar concentration-dependent profile with IC50 of 22.6 μg/mL. In colorectal cancer tissue microarray studies, PMPMEase immunoreactivity was significantly higher in 88.6% of cases compared to normal colon tissues . The mean scores ± SEM were 91.7 ± 11.4 (normal), 75.0 ± 14.4 (normal adjacent), 294.8 ± 7.8 (adenocarcinoma), and 310.0 ± 22.6 (mucinous adenocarcinoma), respectively. PMPMEase overexpression in colorectal cancer and cancer cell death stemming from its inhibition is an indication of its possible role in cancer progression and a target for chemopreventive agents.