Celecoxib induces p53-PUMA pathway for apoptosis in human colorectal cancer cells

Huei Fang Liu, Po W. Hsiao, Jui-I Chao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Celecoxib, a clinical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, displays anticarcinogenic and chemopreventive activities in human colorectal cancers, although the mechanisms of apoptosis by celecoxib are poorly understood. The existence of functional p53 but not securin in colorectal cancer cells was higher on the induction of cytotoxicity than the p53-mutational colorectal cancer cells following celecoxib treatment. The p53-wild type HCT116 cells were more susceptible to increase ∼25% cell death than the p53-null HCT116 cells after treatment with 100 μM celecoxib for 24 h. Transfection with a small interfering RNA of p53 reduced the celecoxib-induced cytotoxicity in the RKO (p53-wild type) colorectal cancer cells. Celecoxib (80-100 μM for 24 h) significantly increased total p53 proteins and the phosphorylated p53 proteins at serine-15, -20, -46, and -392 in RKO cells. However, the phospho-p53 (serine-15, -20, and -392) proteins were presented on the nuclei of cells but the phospho-p53 (serine-46) protein was located on the cytoplasma of apoptotic cells following treatment with celecoxib. Interestingly, the p53 up-regulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA) protein, which located on the mitochondria, was induced by celecoxib in the p53-functional colorectal cancer cells but not in the p53-mutational cells. Together, this study provides the first time that celecoxib induces the various phosphorylated sites of p53 and activates p53-PUMA pathway, which potentiates the apoptosis induction in human colorectal cancer cells. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-57
Number of pages10
JournalChemico-Biological Interactions
Issue number1
StatePublished - 22 Oct 2008


  • Apoptosis
  • Celecoxib
  • Colorectal cancer
  • PUMA
  • p53


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