Curcumin, a component of a spice native to India, was first isolated in 1815 by Vogel and Pelletier from the rhizomes of Curcuma longa (turmeric) and, subsequently, the chemical structure of curcumin as diferuloylmethane was reported by Milobedzka et al. [(1910) 43., 2163-2170]. Since then, this polyphenol has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal activities. The current review primarily focuses on the anticancer potential of curcumin through the modulation of multiple cell signaling pathways. Curcumin modulates diverse transcription factors, inflammatory cytokines, enzymes, kinases, growth factors, receptors, and various other proteins with an affinity ranging from the pM to the mM range. Furthermore, curcumin effectively regulates tumor cell growth via modulation of numerous cell signaling pathways and potentiates the effect of chemotherapeutic agents and radiation against cancer. Curcumin can interact with most of the targets that are modulated by FDA-approved drugs for cancer therapy. The focus of this review is to discuss the molecular basis for the anticancer activities of curcumin based on preclinical and clinical findings.
Keywords: Cancer; Curcumin; Molecular target; Signaling pathways.
© 2017 The Author(s). Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.