Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2019 11;2019:6374940. Epub 2019 Mar 11.
Department of Urology, Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
The natural compound curcumin exerts antitumor properties in vitro, but its clinical application is limited due to low bioavailability. Light exposure in skin and skin cancer cells has been shown to improve curcumin bioavailability; thus, the object of this investigation was to determine whether light exposure might also enhance curcumin efficacy in bladder cancer cell lines. RT112, UMUC3, and TCCSUP cells were preincubated with low curcumin concentrations (0.1-0.4 g/ml) and then exposed to 1.65 J/cm visible light for 5 min. Cell growth, cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell cycle progression, and cell cycle regulating proteins along with acetylation of histone H3 and H4 were investigated. Though curcumin alone did not alter cell proliferation or apoptosis, tumor cell growth and proliferation were strongly blocked when curcumin was combined with visible light. Curcumin-light caused the bladder cancer cells to become arrested in different cell phases: G0/G1 for RT112, G2/M for TCCSUP, and G2/M- and S-phase for UMUC3. Proteins of the Cdk-cyclin axis were diminished in RT112 after application of 0.1 and 0.4 g/ml curcumin. Cell cycling proteins were upregulated in TCCSUP and UMUC3 in the presence of 0.1 g/ml curcumin-light but were partially downregulated with 0.4 g/ml curcumin. 0.4 g/ml (but not 0.1 g/ml) curcumin-light also evoked late apoptosis in TCCSUP and UMUC3 cells. H3 and H4 acetylation was found in UMUC3 cells treated with 0.4 g/ml curcumin alone or with 0.1 g/ml curcumin-light, pointing to an epigenetic mechanism. Light exposure enhanced the antitumor potential of curcumin on bladder cancer cells but by different molecular action modes in the different cell lines. Further studies are necessary to evaluate whether intravesical curcumin application, combined with visible light, might become an innovative tool in combating bladder cancer.