Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Many factors such as stress, lifestyle, and dietary habits are known to play a role in the initiation and progression of the disease. Herbal therapeutic agents including curcumin can hold a great potential against cancer treatment; however, their efficacy on CRC is still under investigation. Herein, we evaluated the anticancer mechanism of curcumin on four different CRC cell lines. Materials and methods: Cells were treated with curcumin for 24, 48 and 72 h, and IC50 doses for each cell line were calculated. Mechanistic studies were conducted with the lowest IC50 dose determined for each cell line by evaluating apoptosis and necrosis, cell division, and NLRP3-mediated pyroptosis. Results: Curcumin treatment significantly decreased viability while increasing the SubG1 phase in all cell lines tested, indicating apoptosis is the main programmed cell death pathway activated upon curcumin treatment in CRC. In terms of pyroptosis, components of NLRP3 inflammasome were found to be elevated in SW480 and HCT116 cell lines, although to a lesser extent in the latter, and NLRP3 inflammasome activation was not observed in LoVo and HT29 cells. Conclusion: Our results reveal that while curcumin effectively induces apoptosis, its effects on NLRP3-inflammasome mediated pyroptosis vary. Our results underline the need for further research focusing on the other inflammasome complexes to confirm the differential effects of curcumin on CRC.


Colorectal cancer, apoptosis, pyroptosis, NLRP3 inflammasome, DNA content analysis

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