Author(s): Khumsupan P, Ramirez R, Khumsupan D, Narayanaswami V
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Abstract Curcumin is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory bioflavonoid that has been recently identified as an anti-amyloid agent as well. To make it more available in its potent form as a potential amyloid disaggregation agent, we employed high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which are lipid-protein complexes that transport plasma cholesterol, to transport curcumin. The objective of this study was to employ reconstituted HDL containing human apoE3 N-terminal (NT) domain, as a vehicle to transport curcumin. The NT domain serves as a ligand to mediate binding and uptake of lipoprotein complexes via the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr) family of proteins located at the cell surface. Reconstituted HDL was prepared with phospholipids and recombinant apoE3-NT domain in the absence or presence of curcumin. Non-denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis indicated that the molecular mass and Stokes' diameter of HDL bearing curcumin were ~670kDa and ~17nm, respectively, while electron microscopy revealed the presence of discoidal particles. Fluorescence emission spectra of HDL bearing (the intrinsically fluorescent) curcumin indicated that the wavelength of maximal fluorescence emission (λ(max)) of curcumin was ~495nm, which is highly blue-shifted compared to λ(max) of curcumin in solvents of varying polarity (λ(max) ranging from 515-575nm) or in aqueous buffers. In addition, an enormous enhancement in fluorescence emission intensity was noted in curcumin-containing HDL compared to curcumin in aqueous buffers. Curcumin fluorescence emission was quenched to a significant extent by lipid-based quenchers but not by aqueous quenchers. These observations indicate that curcumin has partitioned efficiently into the hydrophobic milieu of the phospholipid bilayer of HDL. Functional assays indicated that the LDLr-binding ability of curcumin-containing HDL with apoE3-NT is similar to that of HDL without curcumin. Taken together, we report that apoE-containing HDL has a tremendous potential as a 'nanovehicle' with a homing device to transport curcumin to target sites. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Biochim Biophys Acta
and referenced in Cell & Developmental Biology