Background: The ultimate goal of the study was to find a role of curcumin in targeting lung cancer stem cells by reducing their self-renewal efficiency causing DNA damage.Materials and Methods: Circulating lung cancer stem cells were isolated by sphere formation assay and further analysed by flow-cytometry and qRT-PCR for the presence of stem cell and stem cell transcription markers. The IC50 values of gemcitabine and curcumin were analysed by MTT assay, while curcumin induced DNA damage was scrutinized by single cell gel electrophoresis assay. Results and Conclusion: Our results demonstrated that curcumin significantly affect the self-renewal ability of circulating lung cancer stem cells. The no. of spheres formed in the presence of curcumin was shown to be significantly decreased. Additionally, our results depicted that 4.52±0.72 % and 95.47±0.72 % (p < 0.0001) of DNA material was found to be present in head and tail, respectively, suggesting curcumin’s functional potential to cause DNA damage. Thus, we can conclude that curcumin can be used to target lung cancer stem cells which is responsible for the disease progression and metastasis by causing DNA damage or inhibiting their DNA repair mechanisms.
Keywords: Cancer stem cells, curcumin, comet assay, DNA damage, lung cancer stem cells, self-renewal.