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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(3), 3959-3978; doi:10.3390/ijms13033959
Review

Curcumin: Updated Molecular Mechanisms and Intervention Targets in Human Lung Cancer

1,†
, 2,†
, 3,*  and 1,*
1 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Detection Center of Tumor Biomarker, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, 710032 Xi’an, China 2 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, First People’s Hospital of Xi’an, 710032 Xi’an, China 3 Department of Radiology, Medical Imaging Center, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, 710032 Xi’an, China These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 February 2012 / Revised: 5 March 2012 / Accepted: 15 March 2012 / Published: 22 March 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Bioinorganic Chemistry)
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Abstract

Curcumin, a yellow pigment derived from Curcuma longa Linn, has attracted great interest in the research of cancer during the past decades. Extensive studies documented that curcumin attenuates cancer cell proliferation and promotes apoptosis in vivo and in vitro. Curcumin has been demonstrated to interact with multiple molecules and signal pathways, which makes it a potential adjuvant anti-cancer agent to chemotherapy. Previous investigations focus on the mechanisms of action for curcumin, which is shown to manipulate transcription factors and induce apoptosis in various kinds of human cancer. Apart from transcription factors and apoptosis, emerging studies shed light on latent targets of curcumin against epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), microRNAs (miRNA), autophagy and cancer stem cell. The present review predominantly discusses significance of EGFR, miRNA, autophagy and cancer stem cell in lung cancer therapy. Curcumin as a natural phytochemicals could communicate with these novel targets and show synergism to chemotherapy. Additionally, curcumin is well tolerated in humans. Therefore, EGFR-, miRNA-, autophagy- and cancer stem cell-based therapy in the presence of curcumin might be promising mechanisms and targets in the therapeutic strategy of lung cancer.
Keywords: lung cancer; curcumin; EGFR; miRNA; autophagy; cancer stem cell lung cancer; curcumin; EGFR; miRNA; autophagy; cancer stem cell
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ye, M.-X.; Li, Y.; Yin, H.; Zhang, J. Curcumin: Updated Molecular Mechanisms and Intervention Targets in Human Lung Cancer. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 3959-3978.

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