Curcumin-Galactomannoside Complex inhibits the Proliferation of Human Cervical Cancer Cells: Possible Role in Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Biochemistry, St. Thomas College, Pala, Kottayam, Kerala, India.

2 R & D Center, Akay Natural Ingredients Pvt.Ltd, Cochin, India.

3 Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.


Background: Cervical cancer is the most common cancer and has the highest morbidity rate of gynaecological malignancies in women worldwide. So, the development of effective anti-cancer agents to treat this condition is vital. Considering the recent interest in free (unconjugated) curcuminoids delivery, the present study investigated the efficacy of a novel food-grade, free-curcuminoids (curcumin-galactomannoside complex; CGM) on cervical cancer cells (HeLa) of human origin. In this study, we examined the anticancer potential of CGM as well as its effects on the cell cycle and the apoptosis of HeLa cancer cell. Methods: Determination of anti-proliferative and apoptosis validation of CGM on HeLa cells was performed by 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5,-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), acridine orange/propidium iodide and annexin-V-fluorescein isothiocyanate assays. Measurement of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production, Caspase activities and protein expression experiments were performed to investigate the potential mechanisms of action in the apoptotic process. Results: The cytotoxic assays revealed that the CGM showed inhibition of cell survival and exhibited high cytotoxic activity against HeLa cells at 25 μg/mL. Further studies on morphological changes were done in CGM-treated cervical cancer cells contributing to apoptosis. Flow cytometry analysis with Annexin V-FITC and PI staining precisely indicated that CGM induced apoptosis in HeLa cell lines at 25 μg/mL. By the supplementation of CGM showed an increase in Bax and cleaved caspase-8 protein in HeLa cells after 48 h exposure. Conclusion: The evidence obtained from this study suggests that CGM is a potent and promising natural formulation against cervical cancer cells via induction of apoptosis through ROS mediated mitochondrial damage in HeLa cells. Hence, CGM could be further explored as a potential lead in treating cancer.


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