Background. Survivin is a potential therapeutic target for cancer. Increased survivin expression promotes cell survival and therapeutic resistance. However, there is little information regarding whether the expression level of survivin affects curcumin treatment in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods. Survivin expression was suppressed in HCC cells using a short interfering RNA (siRNA) technique. The anticancer effects of curcumin were examined using a biosensor system, MTT assay, TUNEL assay, and cell cycle analysis. Results. Curcumin resistance developed in cells with suppressed survivin, in contrast to the parental cells, as determined by survival assays. Cell cycle analysis and TUNEL assays revealed that the apoptotic cell population was increased in the scrambled-siRNA cells treated with curcumin compared with the survivin-siRNA cells. Suppression of survivin expression resulted in curcumin resistance via the modulation of Bcl-2 and Bax expression. Conclusions. We conclude that the expression levels of survivin may mediate the therapeutic efficacy of curcumin in HCC cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas