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Special Issue "Curcumin in Health and Disease: New Knowledge"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Bioactives and Nutraceuticals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Beatrice E. Bachmeier
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Competence Center for Complementary Medicine and Naturopathy, Technical University, 80801 Munich, Germany
Interests: molecular oncology; prevention; curcumin; biomolecular research; cellular biology; plant derived bioactives; biomarkers
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The plant-derived polyphenol Curcumin has been used in health and disease for thousands of years and its therapeutic effects have been successfully utilized in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine in order to treat inflammatory diseases. Current results from modern biomolecular research reveal the modulatory effects of Curcumin on a variety of signal transduction pathways associated with inflammation and cancer. In this context, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumorigenic, and even anti-metastatic activities are discussed. On the cellular level, reduced activity of several transcription factors, such as NFkB or AP-1 and suppression of inflammatory cytokines, matrix degrading enzymes, metastasis related genes and even microRNAs are reported. On functional levels, these molecular effects translate into reduced proliferative, invasive and metastatic capacity, as well as induced tumor cell apoptosis. All these effects have been observed not only in vitro but also in animal models. In combination with anti-neoplastic drugs like taxols or kinase inhibitors or radiation therapy, Curcumin potentiates their therapeuthic power and shows even protective effects against undesired side effects.

Natural plant-derived compounds like Curcumin have one significant advantage: They largely do not exert side effects. This feature qualifies Curcumin for primary prevention, in healthy persons with a predisposition to cancer, arteriosclerosis or chronic inflammatory dieseases. Nonetheless, Curcumin is considered "safe", however, toxic effects especially concerning high dosages, long-term intake and pharmacological interactions with other compounds have to be tested.

This Special Issue examines in detail, and provides an update on, the molecular targets, protective effects, and modes of action of natural plant-derived compounds and their roles in the prevention and treatment of human diseases.

Due to the success of the first edition, we would like to add more results and new insights from recent research projects.

Prof. Dr. Beatrice E. Bachmeier
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • curcumin
  • natural compounds
  • bioactives
  • biomarkers
  • molecular pathways
  • cancer
  • inflammation
  • prevention
  • combination therapy
  • toxicity/safety

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
A Curcumin Derivative Activates TFEB and Protects Against Parkinsonian Neurotoxicity in Vitro
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(4), 1515; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21041515 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
Abstract
Abstract: TFEB (transcription factor EB), which is a master regulator of autophagy and lysosome biogenesis, is considered to be a new therapeutic target for Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, only several small-molecule TFEB activators have been discovered and their neuroprotective effects in [...] Read more.
Abstract: TFEB (transcription factor EB), which is a master regulator of autophagy and lysosome biogenesis, is considered to be a new therapeutic target for Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, only several small-molecule TFEB activators have been discovered and their neuroprotective effects in PD are unclear. In this study, a curcumin derivative, named E4, was identified as a potent TFEB activator. Compound E4 promoted the translocation of TFEB from cytoplasm into nucleus, accompanied by enhanced autophagy and lysosomal biogenesis. Moreover, TFEB knockdown effectively attenuated E4-induced autophagy and lysosomal biogenesis. Mechanistically, E4-induced TFEB activation is mainly through AKT-MTORC1 inhibition. In the PD cell models, E4 promoted the degradation of α-synuclein and protected against the cytotoxicity of MPP+ (1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion) in neuronal cells. Overall, the TFEB activator E4 deserves further study in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases, including PD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Curcumin in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
Open AccessArticle
Curcumin Can Decrease Tissue Inflammation and the Severity of HSV-2 Infection in the Female Reproductive Mucosa
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(1), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010337 - 04 Jan 2020
Abstract
Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV-2) is one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted viruses and is a known risk factor for HIV acquisition in the Female Genital Tract (FGT). Previously, we found that curcumin can block HSV-2 infection and abrogate the production [...] Read more.
Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV-2) is one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted viruses and is a known risk factor for HIV acquisition in the Female Genital Tract (FGT). Previously, we found that curcumin can block HSV-2 infection and abrogate the production of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines by genital epithelial cells in vitro. In this study, we investigated whether curcumin, encapsulated in nanoparticles and delivered by various in vivo routes, could minimize inflammation and prevent or reduce HSV-2 infection in the FGT. Female mice were pre-treated with curcumin nanoparticles through oral, intraperitoneal and intravaginal routes, and then exposed intravaginally to the tissue inflammation stimulant CpG-oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN). Local intravaginal delivery of curcumin nanoparticles, but not intraperitoneal or oral delivery, reduced CpG-mediated inflammatory histopathology and decreased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines Interleukin (IL)-6, Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha (TNF-α) and Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 (MCP-1) in the FGT. However, curcumin nanoparticles did not demonstrate anti-viral activity nor reduce tissue pathology when administered prior to intravaginal HSV-2 infection. In an alternative approach, intravaginal pre-treatment with crude curcumin or solid dispersion formulations of curcumin demonstrated increased survival and delayed pathology following HSV-2 infection. Our results suggest that curcumin nanoparticle delivery in the vaginal tract could reduce local tissue inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin delivered to the vaginal tract could potentially reduce the severity of HSV-2 infection and decrease the risk of HIV acquisition in the FGT of women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Curcumin in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle
Curcumin Ameliorates Benzo[a]pyrene-Induced DNA Damages in Stomach Tissues of Sprague-Dawley Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(22), 5533; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20225533 - 06 Nov 2019
Abstract
Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) is a well-known carcinogen formed during the cooking process. Although BaP exposure has been implicated as one of the risk factors for lung cancer in animals and humans, there are only limited data on BaP-induced gastrointestinal cancer. Therefore, this study investigated [...] Read more.
Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) is a well-known carcinogen formed during the cooking process. Although BaP exposure has been implicated as one of the risk factors for lung cancer in animals and humans, there are only limited data on BaP-induced gastrointestinal cancer. Therefore, this study investigated the protective effects of curcumin on BaP-induced DNA damage in rat stomach tissues. BaP (20 mg/kg/day) and curcumin (50, 100, or 200 mg/kg) were administered daily to Sprague-Dawley rats by oral gavage over 30 days. Curcumin was pre-administered before BaP exposure. All rats were euthanized, and liver, kidney, and stomach tissues were removed at 24 h after the last treatment. We observed that aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and glucose levels were significantly reduced in rats treated with high dose co-administration of curcumin (200 mg/kg) compared to BaP alone. The expression levels of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A1 and CYP1B1 were significantly increased in the liver of rats treated with BaP. However, co-administration of curcumin (200 mg/kg) with BaP markedly reduced CYP1A1 expression in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, plasma levels of BaP-diolepoxide (BPDE) and BaP metabolites were significantly reduced by co-administration of curcumin (200 mg/kg). Additionally, co-administration of curcumin (200 mg/kg) with BaP significantly reduced the formation of BPDE-I-DNA and 8-hydroxydeoxy guanosine (8-OHdG) adducts in the liver, kidney, and stomach tissues. The inhibition of these adduct formations were more prominent in the stomach tissues than in the liver. Overall, our observations suggest that curcumin might inhibit BaP-induced gastrointestinal tumorigenesis and shows promise as a chemopreventive agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Curcumin in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle
Bioactivity of Curcumin on the Cytochrome P450 Enzymes of the Steroidogenic Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(18), 4606; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20184606 - 17 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Turmeric, a popular ingredient in the cuisine of many Asian countries, comes from the roots of the Curcuma longa and is known for its use in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Turmeric is rich in curcuminoids, including curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Curcuminoids have potent [...] Read more.
Turmeric, a popular ingredient in the cuisine of many Asian countries, comes from the roots of the Curcuma longa and is known for its use in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Turmeric is rich in curcuminoids, including curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Curcuminoids have potent wound healing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic activities. While curcuminoids have been studied for many years, not much is known about their effects on steroid metabolism. Since many anti-cancer drugs target enzymes from the steroidogenic pathway, we tested the effect of curcuminoids on cytochrome P450 CYP17A1, CYP21A2, and CYP19A1 enzyme activities. When using 10 µg/mL of curcuminoids, both the 17α-hydroxylase as well as 17,20 lyase activities of CYP17A1 were reduced significantly. On the other hand, only a mild reduction in CYP21A2 activity was observed. Furthermore, CYP19A1 activity was also reduced up to ~20% of control when using 1–100 µg/mL of curcuminoids in a dose-dependent manner. Molecular docking studies confirmed that curcumin could dock onto the active sites of CYP17A1, CYP19A1, as well as CYP21A2. In CYP17A1 and CYP19A1, curcumin docked within 2.5 Å of central heme while in CYP21A2 the distance from heme was 3.4 Å, which is still in the same range or lower than distances of bound steroid substrates. These studies suggest that curcuminoids may cause inhibition of steroid metabolism, especially at higher dosages. Also, the recent popularity of turmeric powder as a dilatory supplement needs further evaluation for the effect of curcuminoids on steroid metabolism. The molecular structure of curcuminoids could be modified to generate better lead compounds with inhibitory effects on CYP17A1 and CYP19A1 for potential drugs against prostate cancer and breast cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Curcumin in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Mutual Two-Way Interactions of Curcumin and Gut Microbiota
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(3), 1055; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21031055 - 05 Feb 2020
Abstract
Curcumin, an herbal naturally occurring polyphenol, has recently been proposed for the treatment of neurodegenerative, neurological and cancer diseases due to its pleiotropic effect. Recent studies indicated that dysbiosis is associated with the abovementioned and other diseases, and gut microflora may be a [...] Read more.
Curcumin, an herbal naturally occurring polyphenol, has recently been proposed for the treatment of neurodegenerative, neurological and cancer diseases due to its pleiotropic effect. Recent studies indicated that dysbiosis is associated with the abovementioned and other diseases, and gut microflora may be a new potential therapeutic target. The new working hypothesis that could explain the curative role of curcumin, despite its limited availability, is that curcumin acts indirectly on the brain, affecting the “gut–brain–microflora axis”, a complex two-way system in which the gut microbiome and its composition, are factors that preserve and determine brain health. It is therefore suspected that curcumin and its metabolites have a direct regulatory effect on gut microflora and vice versa, which may explain the paradox between curcumin’s poor bioavailability and its commonly reported therapeutic effects. Curcumin and its metabolites can have health benefits by eliminating intestinal microflora dysbiosis. In addition, curcumin undergoes enzymatic modifications by bacteria, forming pharmacologically more active metabolites than their parent, curcumin. In this review, we summarize a number of studies that highlight the interaction between curcumin and gut microbiota and vice versa, and we consider the possibility of microbiome-targeted therapies using curcumin, particularly in disease entities currently without causal treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Curcumin in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessReview
Substantiation for the Use of Curcumin during the Development of Neurodegeneration after Brain Ischemia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(2), 517; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020517 - 14 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Currently available pharmacological treatment of post-ischemia-reperfusion brain injury has limited effectiveness. This review provides an assessment of the current state of neurodegeneration treatment due to ischemia-reperfusion brain injury and focuses on the role of curcumin in the diet. The purpose of this review [...] Read more.
Currently available pharmacological treatment of post-ischemia-reperfusion brain injury has limited effectiveness. This review provides an assessment of the current state of neurodegeneration treatment due to ischemia-reperfusion brain injury and focuses on the role of curcumin in the diet. The purpose of this review was to provide a comprehensive overview of what was published about the benefits of curcumin influence on post-ischemic brain damage. Some data on the clinical benefits of curcumin treatment of post-ischemic brain in terms of clinical symptoms and adverse reactions have been reviewed. The data in this review contributes to a better understanding of the potential benefits of curcumin in the treatment of neurodegenerative changes after ischemia and informs scientists, clinicians, and patients, as well as their families and caregivers about the possibilities of such treatment. Due to the pleotropic properties of curcumin, including anti-amyloid, anti-tau protein hyperphosphorylation, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and neuroprotective action, as well as increasing neuronal lifespan and promoting neurogenesis, curcumin is a promising candidate for the treatment of post-ischemic neurodegeneration with misfolded proteins accumulation. In this way, it may gain interest as a potential therapy to prevent the development of neurodegenerative changes after cerebral ischemia. In addition, it is a safe substance and inexpensive, easily accessible, and can effectively penetrate the blood–brain barrier and neuronal membranes. In conclusion, the evidence available in a review of the literature on the therapeutic potential of curcumin provides helpful insight into the potential clinical utility of curcumin in the treatment of neurological neurodegenerative diseases with misfolded proteins. Therefore, curcumin may be a promising supplementary agent against development of neurodegeneration after brain ischemia in the future. Indeed, there is a rational scientific basis for the use of curcumin for the prophylaxis and treatment of post-ischemic neurodegeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Curcumin in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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