Essential oil of Curcuma aromatica induces apoptosis in human non-small-cell lung carcinoma cells

Jui Wen Ma, Thomas Chang Yao Tsao, Yi Ting Hsi, Ying Chao Lin, Yuhsin Chen, Yeh Chen, Chi Tang Ho, Jung Yie Kao, Tzong Der Way

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 85% of all lung cancers, and has highly metastatic capacity and poor prognosis. The anti-tumour activity and the corresponding signal pathways of spring Curcuma aromatica Salisb essential oil (CSEO) and autumn C. aromatica essential oil (CAEO) were evaluated. The results demonstrated that CAEO possessed more potent cytotoxicity than CSEO in NSLCL cells. CAEO induced apoptosis through the cleavage and activation of caspases 3, 8, 9, and poly (ADPribose) polymerase (PARP) in NCI-H1299 cells. After treatment with CAEO, pro-apoptosis protein Bax expression increased, and anti-apoptosis proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL expression decreased. In addition, CAEO could promote tumour suppressor protein p53 expression, inhibit the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and increase the phosphorylation of JNK1/2 and p38. CAEO treatment also inhibited Akt/NF-κB signal pathways in NCI-H1299 cells. In vivo experiments showed that CAEO significantly inhibited the growth of NSCLC in nude mice. Zingiberene (4.80 mg/g), β-sesquiphellandrene (1.88 mg/g) and turmerone (0.98 mg/g) were found in CAEO as potential active compounds. Thus, these results emphasize that the CAEO induced apoptosis and had a potential to become a new functional food ingredient for the prevention and treatment of NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-112
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Functional Foods
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • Akt/NF-κB
  • Apoptosis
  • Curcuma aromatica Salisb
  • Non-small-cell lung cancer


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