Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2015 Apr;1(2):129-139.
doi: 10.1007/s40495-015-0018-x. Epub 2015 Jan 30.

"Curcumin, the King of Spices": Epigenetic Regulatory Mechanisms in the Prevention of Cancer, Neurological, and Inflammatory Diseases

Affiliations
Free PMC article

"Curcumin, the King of Spices": Epigenetic Regulatory Mechanisms in the Prevention of Cancer, Neurological, and Inflammatory Diseases

Sarandeep S S Boyanapalli et al. Curr Pharmacol Rep. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a polyphenolic compound, is a component of Curcuma longa, commonly known as turmeric. It is a well-known anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-lipidemic agent and has recently been shown to modulate several diseases via epigenetic regulation. Many recent studies have demonstrated the role of epigenetic inactivation of pivotal genes that regulate human pathologies, such as neurocognitive disorders, inflammation, obesity, and cancers. Epigenetic changes involve changes in DNA methylation, histone modifications, or altered microRNA expression patterns which are known to be interconnected and play a key role in tumor progression and failure of conventional chemotherapy. The majority of epigenetic changes are influenced by lifestyle and diets. In this regard, dietary phytochemicals as dietary supplements have emerged as a promising source that are able to reverse these epigenetic alterations, to actively regulate gene expression and molecular targets that are known to promote tumorigenesis, and also to prevent age-related diseases through epigenetic modifications. There have been several studies which reported the role of curcumin as an epigenetic regulator in neurological disorders, inflammation, and in diabetes apart from cancers. The epigenetic regulatory roles of curcumin include (1) inhibition of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), which has been well defined from the recent studies on its function as a DNA hypomethylating agent; (2) regulation of histone modifications via regulation of histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs); and (3) regulation of micro RNAs (miRNA). This review summarizes the current knowledge on the effect of curcumin in the treatment and/or prevention of inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancers by regulating histone deacetylases, histone acetyltransferases, and DNA methyltransferases.

Keywords: Cancer; Curcumin; DNA methylation; Epigenetics; Histone modification; Nrf2.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest Sarandeep S. S. Boyanapalli and Ah-Ng. Tony Kong declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
a The effect of epigenetic changes on transcription of genes upon curcumin treatment, b Induced and suppressed histone-modifying enzymes, DNA methyl transferases, and microRNAs

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 32 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback