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J Cell Physiol. 2019 May;234(5):5643-5654. doi: 10.1002/jcp.27404. Epub 2018 Sep 21.

Curcumin: A naturally occurring autophagy modulator.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
2
Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
3
Chemical Injuries Research Center, System Biology and Poisoning Institute, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
4
Department of Medical Biotechnology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
5
Neurogenic Inflammation Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
6
Biotechnology Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
7
School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

Abstract

Autophagy is a self-degradative process that plays a pivotal role in several medical conditions associated with infection, cancer, neurodegeneration, aging, and metabolic disorders. Its interplay with cancer development and treatment resistance is complicated and paramount for drug design since an autophagic response can lead to tumor suppression by enhancing cellular integrity and tumorigenesis by improving tumor cell survival. In addition, autophagy denotes the cellular ability of adapting to stress though it may end up in apoptosis activation when cells are exposed to a very powerful stress. Induction of autophagy is a therapeutic option in cancer and many anticancer drugs have been developed to this aim. Curcumin as a hydrophobic polyphenol compound extracted from the known spice turmeric has different pharmacological effects in both in vitro and in vivo models. Many reports exist reporting that curcumin is capable of triggering autophagy in several cancer cells. In this review, we will focus on how curcumin can target autophagy in different cellular settings that may extend our understanding of new pharmacological agents to overcome relevant diseases.

KEYWORDS:

autophagy; cell death; curcumin; molecular mechanisms

PMID:
30239005
DOI:
10.1002/jcp.27404

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