According to new research published in the journal PLOS One, curcumin, a bioactive molecule derived from tumeric, can prevent colon cancer metastasis. Researchers from the University of Arizona's Steele Children's Research Center in Tucson, Arizona, curcumin inhibits cortacin, a protein necessary for cell movement, in colon cancer. Because cortacin is often overexpressed in cancer cells, it provides cancer cells with the ability to move and metastasize to other parts of the body.
The researchers discovered the active part of cortacin, Phospho Tyrosine 421 (pTyr421) to be overexpressed in malignant colon cancer cells. The malignant cancer cells were then treated with curcumin and found that curcumin inhibited pTyr421. Tus, the colon cancer cells lost their ability to spread and migrate.
This study lays the foundation for future studies involving curcumin to be conducted for the prevention of cancer metastasis. Eventually, drugs may be designed with curcumin to block colon cancer cells from spreading.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death of both men and women in the United States.
Novel research led by the UA Steele Children’s Research Center has identified one of the mechanisms by which curcumin, a bioactive molecule derived from the spice turmeric, can prevent cancer cell metastasis in colon cancer.
A team of researchers led by the University of Arizona’s Steele Children’s Research Center discovered that curcumin – the bioactive molecule derived from the spice turmeric – blocks the protein cortactin in colon cancer.
Cortactin, a protein essential for cell movement, frequently is overexpressed in cancer, thus facilitating cancer cell metastasis to other organs in the body.