SWATH-MS based quantitative proteomics analysis reveals that curcumin alters the metabolic enzyme profile of CML cells by affecting the activity of miR-22/IPO7/HIF-1α axis

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Background: Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a myeloproliferative disorder caused by expression of the chimeric BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase oncogene, resulting from the t(9;22) chromosomal translocation. Imatinib (gleevec, STI-571) is a selective inhibitor of BCR-ABL activity highly effective in the treatment of CML. However, even though almost all CML patients respond to treatment with imatinib or third generation inhibitors, these drugs are not curative and need to be taken indefinitely or until patients become resistant. Therefore, to get a definitive eradication of leukemic cells, it is necessary to find novel therapeutic combinations, for achieving greater efficacy and fewer side effects. Curcumin is an Indian spice with several therapeutic properties: anti-oxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and anti-cancer. In cancer disease, it acts by blocking cell transformation, proliferation, and invasion and by inducing cell apoptosis. Methods: In the present study, the effect of a sub-toxic dose of curcumin on K562 cells was evaluated by using the technique of Sequential Window Activation of All Theoretical Mass Spectra (SWATH-MS). Bioinformatic analysis of proteomic data was performed to highlight the pathways mostly affected by the treatment. The involvement of Hypoxia inducible factor 1 α (HIF-1α) was assayed by evaluating its activation status and the modulation of importin 7 (IPO7) and miR-22 was assessed by quantitative PCR and western blot analysis. Finally, K562 cells transfected with miR-22 inhibitor were used to confirm the ability of curcumin to elicit miR-22 expression. Results: Our findings revealed that the most relevant effect induced by curcumin was a consistent decrease of several proteins involved in glucose metabolism, most of which were HIF-1α targets, concomitant with the up-regulation of functional and structural mitochondrial proteins. The mechanism by which curcumin affects metabolic enzyme profile was associated with the reduction of HIF-1α activity, due to the miR-22-mediated down-regulation of IPO7 expression. Finally, the ability of curcumin to enhance in vitro the efficiency of imatinib was reported. Conclusions: In summary, our data indicates that the miR-22/IPO7/HIF-1α axis may be considered as a novel molecular target of curcumin adding new insights to better define therapeutic activity and anticancer properties of this natural compound. The MS proteomic data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange with identifier <PXD007771>.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-188
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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