Dietary phytochemicals induce p53- and caspase-independent cell death in human neuroblastoma cells

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Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most prevalent pediatric solid tumor and a leading cause of cancer-related death in children. In the present study, a novel cytotoxic role for the dietary compounds, curcumin, andrographolide, wedelolactone, dibenzoylmethane, and tanshinone IIA was identified in human S-type NB cells, SK-N-AS and SK-N-BE(2). Mechanistically, cell death appeared apoptotic by flow cytometry; however, these effects proceeded independently from both caspase-3 and p53 activation, as assessed by both genetic (shRNA) and pharmacological approaches. Notably, cell death induced by both curcumin and andrographolide was associated with decreased NFκB activity and a reduction in Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL expression. Finally, curcumin and andrographolide increased cytotoxicity following co-treatment with either cisplatin or doxorubicin, two chemotherapeutic agents widely used in the clinical management of NB. Coupled with the documented safety in humans, dietary compounds may represent a potential adjunct therapy for NB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-710
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2011



  • Akt
  • Ayurveda
  • Chemotherapy
  • Nutrition
  • Pediatric cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology

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