Curcumin has been utilized in the treatment and prevention of disease, including cancer and cardiovascular disease, but the molecular mechanism behind such numerous effects remains unclear. To explore the molecular mechanism and action sites of curcumin at the cellular level, human hepatic L-02 cells were used to assess these effects. Microarray technology was employed to detect the gene expression of L-02 cells treated with curcumin. According to the microarray results and the data from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the present study classified and concluded that these curcumin-sensitive genes were associated with diseases and their signaling pathway. The study supports the evidence for treating cancer and cardiovascular disease, and found certain potential marker genes for conducting systematic research into the effects of curcumin. A total of 80 genes were identified as significantly differentially expressed between samples treated with and without curcumin. Curcumin is capable of developing physiological reactions and functions by regulating the gene expression and affecting its signal transduction pathway. Tumor protein p63, MYC-associated factor X and certain other genes associated with tumors act on a potential therapeutic target, while apolipoprotein B receptor and oxysterol-binding protein-like 7, and their signaling pathways may be involved in the cardioprotective effects of curcumin.
Keywords: curcumin; gene expression; gene microarray; hepatocyte.