Research outcomes

Stressing cancer with spice

Research team of Professor Kato’s lab (Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology) previously showed that curcumin, a phytopolyphenol found in turmeric (Curcuma longa), targets a series of enzymes in the ROS metabolic pathway, induces irreversible growth arrest, and causes apoptosis in cancers. In this study, Kato’s group in collaboration with other groups in Japan and Indonesia reports that a curcumin analogue, pentagamavumon-1 (PGV-1), inhibited the proliferation of human cell lines derived from leukemia, breast adenocarcinoma, cervical cancer, uterine cancer, and pancreatic cancer at much lower doses than curcumin. PGV-1 specifically induced prometaphase arrest in the M phase of the cell cycle, and efficiently induced cell senescence and cell death by increasing intracellular ROS levels through inhibition of ROS-metabolic enzymes. In a xenograft mouse model, PGV-1 had marked antitumor activity with little side effects by oral administration, whereas curcumin rarely inhibited tumor formation by this administration. Therefore, PGV-1 is a potential therapeutic to induce tumor cell apoptosis with few side effects and low risk of relapse.


Pentagamavunon-1 (PGV-1) inhibits ROS metabolic enzymes and suppresses tumor cell growth by inducing M phase (prometaphase) arrest and cell senescence

Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology

( October 25, 2019 )