Curcumin and cell membrane dynamics


Curcumin and cell membrane dynamics

Curcumin is a well-known natural compound with anti-inflammatory properties. Its antiproliferative effect and ability to modulate apoptosis (programmed cell death) are considered essential in cancer therapy. Due to the properties of curcumin, it targets local membranes. This prompted an investigation of the mechanisms of membrane changes evoked by curcumin. Curcumin was found to expand the cell membrane, inducing echinocytosis (overabundance of prickly cells). Changes in cell shape were accompanied by transient exposure of phosphatidylserine. Membrane disproportion was recovered by the action of an enzyme, which remained active in the presence of curcumin. Lipids rearrangements and drug partitioning caused changes of lipid fluidity. Based on these results, curcumin would produce various incidents of beneficial apoptosis.

Experimental Cell Research, 1998, Vol 245, Iss 2, pp 303-312

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