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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2002 Sep 15;405(2):223-30.

Metal-mediated DNA damage induced by curcumin in the presence of human cytochrome P450 isozymes.

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Department of Hygiene, Mie University School of Medicine, Mie 514-8507, Japan.


Although curcumin is known to exhibit antitumor activity, carcinogenic properties have also been reported. To clarify the potentiality of carcinogenesis by curcumin, we have examined whether curcumin can induce DNA damage in the presence of cytochrome P450 (CYP) using [32P]-5(')-end-labeled DNA fragments obtained from genes relevant to human cancer. Curcumin treated with CYP 2D6, CYP1A1, or CYP1A2 induced DNA damage in the presence of Cu(II). CYP2D6-treated curcumin caused base damage, especially at 5(')-TG-3('), 5(')-GC-3('), and GG sequences. The DNA damage was inhibited by both catalase and bathocuproine, suggesting that reactive species derived from the reaction of H(2)O(2) with Cu(I) participate in DNA damage. Formation of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2(')-deoxyguanosine was significantly increased by CYP2D6-treated curcumin in the presence of Cu(II). Time-of- flight mass spectrometry demonstrated that CYP2D6 catalyzed the conversion of curcumin to O-demethyl curcumin. Therefore, it is concluded that curcumin may exhibit carcinogenic potential through oxidative DNA damage by its metabolite.

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