alexa Effects of curcumin on ion channels and transporters.
Genetics & Molecular Biology

Genetics & Molecular Biology

Hereditary Genetics: Current Research

Author(s): Zhang X, Chen Q, Wang Y, Peng W, Cai H

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Abstract Curcumin [1,7-bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1,6-heptadiene-3,5-dione], a polyphenolic compound isolated from the rhizomes of Curcuma longa (turmeric), has been shown to exhibit a wide range of pharmacological activities including anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-atherosclerotic, anti-microbial, and wound healing effects. These activities of curcumin are based on its complex molecular structure and chemical features, as well as its ability to interact with multiple signaling molecules. The ability of curcumin to regulate ion channels and transporters was recognized a decade ago. The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a well-studied ion channel target of curcumin. During the process of studying its anti-cancer properties, curcumin was found to inhibit ATP-binding cassette (ABC) family members including ABCA1, ABCB1, ABCC1, and ABCG2. Recent studies have revealed that many channels and transporters are modulated by curcumin, such as voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels, high-voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels (HVGCC), volume-regulated anion channel (VRAC), Ca(2+) release-activated Ca(2+) channel (CRAC), aquaporin-4 (AQP-4), glucose transporters, etc., In this review, we aim to provide an overview of the interactions of curcumin with different types of ion channels and transporters and to help better understand and integrate the underlying molecular mechanisms of the multiple pharmacological activities of curcumin.
This article was published in Front Physiol and referenced in Hereditary Genetics: Current Research

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  • Yosef Yarden
    Classically, the 3’untranslated region (3’UTR) is that region in eukaryotic protein-coding genes from the translation termination codon to the polyA signal. It is transcribed as an integral part of the mRNA encoded by the gene. However, there exists another kind of RNA, which consists of the 3’UTR alone, without all other elements in mRNA such as 5’UTR and coding region. The importance of independent 3’UTR RNA (referred as I3’UTR) was prompted by results of artificially introducing such RNA species into malignant mammalian cells. Since 1991, we found that the middle part of the 3’UTR of the human nuclear factor for interleukin-6 (NF-IL6) or C/EBP gene exerted tumor suppression effect in vivo. Our subsequent studies showed that transfection of C/EBP 3’UTR led to down-regulation of several genes favorable for malignancy and to up-regulation of some genes favorable for phenotypic reversion. Also, it was shown that the sequences near the termini of the C/EBP 3’UTR were important for its tumor suppression activity. Then, the C/EBP 3’UTR was found to directly inhibit the phosphorylation activity of protein kinase CPKC in SMMC-7721, a hepatocarcinoma cell line. Recently, an AU-rich region in the C/EBP 3’UTR was found also to be responsible for its tumor suppression. Recently we have also found evidence that the independent C/EBP 3’UTR RNA is actually exists in human tissues, such as fetal liver and heart, pregnant uterus, senescent fibroblasts etc. Through 1990’s to 2000’s, world scientists found several 3’UTR RNAs that functioned as artificial independent RNAs in cancer cells and resulted in tumor suppression. Interestingly, majority of genes for these RNAs have promoter-like structures in their 3’UTR regions, although the existence of their transcribed products as independent 3’UTR RNAs is still to be confirmed. Our studies indicate that the independent 3’UTR RNA is a novel non-coding RNA species whose function should be the regulation not of the expression of their original mRNA, but of some essential life activities of the cell as a whole.
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