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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 363671, 7 pages
Research Article

Curcumin Sensitizes Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells to Radiation via Suppression of Radiation-Induced NF-κB Activity

1Department of Biomedical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan
2Department of Medical Imaging, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei 110, Taiwan
3Department of Radiation Oncology, National Yang-Ming University Hospital, Yilan 260, Taiwan
4Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, National Yang-Ming University Hospital, Yilan 260, Taiwan

Received 4 June 2015; Accepted 11 August 2015

Academic Editor: Norma P. Marroni

Copyright © 2015 Fei-Ting Hsu 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.


The effects and possible underlying mechanism of curcumin combined with radiation in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells in vitro were evaluated. The effects of curcumin, radiation, and combination of both on cell viability, apoptosis, NF-κB activation, and expressions of NF-κB downstream effector proteins were investigated with 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), NF-κB reporter gene, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), electrophoretic mobility shift (EMSA), and Western blot assays in Huh7-NF-κB-luc2, Hep3B, and HepG2 cells. Effect of I kappa B alpha mutant (IκBαM) vector, a specific inhibitor of NF-κB activation, on radiation-induced loss of MMP was also evaluated. Results show that curcumin not only significantly enhances radiation-induced cytotoxicity and depletion of MMP but inhibits radiation-induced NF-κB activity and expressions of NF-κB downstream proteins in HCC cells. IκBαM vector also shows similar effects. In conclusion, we suggest that curcumin augments anticancer effects of radiation via the suppression of NF-κB activation.