Journal of microbiology and biotechnology 2018 04 12() doi 10.4014/jmb.1801.01074
Curcumin is known to possess various biological functions including anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and anti-cancer activity. Natural killer (NK) cells are large lymphocytes that directly kill cancer cells. However, many aggressive cancers including breast cancer were reported to escape the successful killing of NK cells in a tumor microenvironment. In this study, we investigated the anti-cancer effect of curcumin in coculture of human breast carcinoma MDA-MB231 and NK (NK-92) cells. We found that curcumin had an immune8 stimulatory effect on NK-92 by increasing the surface expression of the CD16 and CD56 population of NK-92. We confirmed that the cytotoxic effect of NK-92 on MDA-MB231 was significantly enhanced in the presence of curcumin, which was highly associated with the activation of Stat4 and Stat5 proteins in NK-92. Finally, this improved anti-cancer effect of curcumin was correlated with decreased expressions of pErk and PI3K in MDA-MB231.