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Biotechnol Adv. 2016 Sep-Oct;34(5):813-826. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2016.04.004. Epub 2016 May 1.

Curcumin, mitochondrial biogenesis, and mitophagy: Exploring recent data and indicating future needs.

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Department of Chemistry/ICET, Federal University of MatoGrosso (UFMT), Av. Fernando Corrêa da Costa, 2367, CEP 78060-900, Cuiaba, MT, Brazil. Electronic address:
Instituto Geral de Perícias (IGP, Forensic Institute), Departamento de Perícias Laboratoriais, Forensic Toxicology Division, Postmortem Toxicology Sector, Av. Ipiranga, 1807, CEP 90160093, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
Department of Chemistry, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA.
Applied Biotechnology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Applied Biotechnology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:


Mitochondria are dynamic double-membrane bound organelles which have key roles in a variety of cellular functions such as energy producing, regulation of calcium flux, cellular stress responses including autophagy and apoptosis. A growing body of evidence indicates that mitochondrial dysfunction is the main culprit in a myriad of diseases such as neurodegenerative disease. This fact opens a new therapeutic window based on targeting mitochondrial dysfunction for treatment of these diseases. Recently an abundance of evidence shows the promising role of polyphenolic compounds on mitochondrial structure and function. Curcumin, a well-known polyphenolic compound, is an abundant component of turmeric. The promising roles of curcumin against different diseases are highly publicized. The aim of the present work is to critically review the scientific evidence to provide a clear view of how curcumin improves mitochondrial dynamics regarding mitochondrial biogenesis and mitophagy. We also present curcumin biosynthesis, source, bioavailability and metabolism in order to give an overview of this compound.


Curcumin; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial biogenesis; Mitophagy

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