Impact of curcumin on sirtuins: A review

J Cell Biochem. 2018 Dec;119(12):10291-10300. doi: 10.1002/jcb.27371. Epub 2018 Aug 26.


Curcumin is a bioactive phytochemical that modulates several physiological and cellular processes leading to therapeutic effects against different diseases. Sirtuins are highly conserved nicotine adenine dinucleotide-dependent proteins that regulate the activity of target enzymes and transcription factors by deacetylation. Curcumin possesses both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to increase sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) by activating small molecules. Upregulation of SIRT1 by curcumin has been reported to confer protective effects against a range of neurological disorders including glutamate excitotoxicity, β-amyloid-induced cell death in cortical neurons, cerebral ischemic damage, and stroke. Activation of AMPK and SIRT1 by curcumin has also been noted to mediate the protective effects of curcumin against ischemia/reperfusion injury, cardiac fibrosis, diabetes, and lipid metabolism abnormalities. These protective effects of SIRT1 activation are partly mediated by the deacetylation of p53 and reduction of apoptosis. In this review, we summarize the role of SIRT1 in mediating the pharmacological effects of curcumin in several diseases.

Keywords: cancer; curcumin; sirtuin; sirtuin-1 (SIRT1).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Glutamic Acid / genetics
  • Humans
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Reperfusion Injury / drug therapy*
  • Sirtuin 1 / genetics*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Antioxidants
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Protein Kinases
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases
  • Sirtuin 1
  • Curcumin