Novel analogs of curcumins: Development of a method to screen for cytotoxicity against murine cancer cells

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Moses Lee, Hope College
Dr. Balaji Babu, Hope College
Dr. Sameer Chavda, Hope College
Dr. Dereje Desta, Hope College

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The authors thank Professor Dev Arya and Clemson University for support.


Curcumin is a compound found in Curcuma longa, in which the root is commonly used as a spice called, turmeric. It is reported to have anticancer properties. Curcumin is effective at inhibiting tubulin polymerization and the proliferation of several strains of cancer. Recently, curcumin has also been found to inhibit the JAK/STAT pathway and induce cancer cells to undergo apoptosis. A new method for screening 75 non-symmetrical analogs of curcumin for cytotoxicity has been established in our laboratory. Each compound is put into a 10 μM solution and added to a plate that is seeded with L1210 cancer cells, a murine strain of lymphoma, and media. After 3 days of incubation, an MTT assay is performed on the treated cells to show the presence of live cells. Analysis of the raw data then shows which compounds are active, fairly active, and not active. The active compounds are further examined and their cytotoxicity, IC50 values, against the growth of L1210 and B16 cells (murine melanoma) in culture are determined. The structure and activity relationships for the new compounds will be presented.

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