Send to

Choose Destination
Toxicol In Vitro. 2004 Dec;18(6):783-9.

Prooxidant activity of curcumin: copper-dependent formation of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine in DNA and induction of apoptotic cell death.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Aichi Medical University, Yazako, Nagakute, Aichi 480-1195, Japan.


Curcumin, a well-known antioxidant in a principal ingredient of turmeric, acted as a prooxidant causing a copper-dependent DNA damage and the induction of apoptosis. Treatment of DNA from plasmid pBR322 and calf thymus with curcumin plus copper ion caused strand scission and the formation of 8-hydroxy-2(')-deoxyguanosine in DNA. Addition of catalase protected DNA from the curcumin-dependent injuries, indicating that hydroxyl radical may participate in the DNA damage. Flow cytometry analysis showed that curcumin caused an apoptotic cell death of HL60 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Curcumin-mediated apoptosis was closely related to the increase in intracellular reactive oxygen species. On the contrary, capsaicinoids, which have a ortho-methoxy phenolic structure without beta-diketone in the side chain, did not produce 8-hydroxy-2(')-deoxyguanosine. Capsaicin further did not induce apoptosis of HL60 cells, but rather protected cells from prooxidant-induced apoptosis. Curcumin can generate reactive oxygen species as a prooxidant in the presence of transition metals in cells, resulting in DNA injuries and apoptotic cell death. The prooxidant action of curcumin may be related to the conjugated beta-diketone structure of this compound.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center