Research Papers:

Curcumin increases exosomal TCF21 thus suppressing exosome-induced lung cancer

Hao Wu, Jingcheng Zhou, Chao Zeng, Da Wu, Zhimin Mu, Baokun Chen, Yuancai Xie, Yiwang Ye and Jixian Liu _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:87081-87090. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13499

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Hao Wu1,*, Jingcheng Zhou1,*, Chao Zeng1, Da Wu1, Zhimin Mu1, Baokun Chen1, Yuancai Xie1, Yiwang Ye1, Jixian Liu1

1Department of Thoracic Surgery, Peking University Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen 518036, Guangdong Province, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jixian Liu, email: [email protected]

Hao Wu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: curcumin, TCF21, DNMT1, exosome, lung cancer

Received: August 31, 2016     Accepted: October 28, 2016     Published: November 22, 2016


Curcumin is a novel drug for lung cancer treatment. However, the mechanism underlying the anti-tumor effect of curcumin remains elusive. Previous evidences indicated that, the methylating transferase DNMT1 is downregulated by curcumin, and the transcription factor 21 (TCF21) is suppressed by DNMT1. We hereby attempt to elucidate the correlation between curcumin treatment and TCF21 expression. Exosomes derived from curcumin-pretreated H1299 cells were used to treat BEAS-2B cells, which induced proliferation, colony formation and migration of BEAS-2B cells. An increase in TCF21 expression in response to curcumin was also seen, as revealed by real-time PCR (RT-PCR) and western blot. Analysis using the GEO database (access #GSE21210) indicated that a positive correlation existed between TCF21 levels and lung cancer patient survival. TCF21 overexpression and knockdown was introduced to H1299 cells through lentiviral system, which led to suppression and promotion of tumor growth, respectively. We also demonstrated that DNMT1 expression was downregulated by curcumin. Therefore, curcumin exerts its anti-cancer function by downregulating DNMT1, thereby upregulating TCF21.

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