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Curcumin: functional genomics to characterize the bioactivities of a prominent natural product

Abstract (as presented by the authors of the scientific work):

"Curcumin is a natural plant-derived compound that has attracted a lot of attention for its anti-cancer activities. Curcumin can slow proliferation of and induce apoptosis in cancer cell lines, but the precise mechanisms of these effects are not fully understood. However, many lines of evidence suggested that curcumin has a potent impact on gene expression profiles; thus, functional genomics should be the key to understanding how curcumin exerts its anti-cancer activities. Here, we review the published functional genomic studies of curcumin focusing on cancer. Typically, a cancer cell line or a grafted tumor were exposed to curcumin and profiled with microarrays, methylation assays, or RNA-seq. Crucially, these studies are in agreement that curcumin has a powerful effect on gene expression. In the majority of the studies, among differentially expressed genes we found genes involved in cell signaling, apoptosis, and the control of cell cycle. Curcumin can also induce specific methylation changes, and is a powerful regulator of the expression of microRNAs which control oncogenesis. We also reflect on how the broader technological progress in transcriptomics has been reflected on the field of curcumin. We conclude by discussing the areas where more functional genomic studies are highly desirable. Integrated OMICS approaches will clearly be the key to understanding curcumin's anticancer and chemopreventive effects. Such strategies may become a template for elucidating the mode of action of other natural products; many natural products have pleiotropic effects that are well suited for a systems-level analysis."

Covered topics (the letter size corresponds to the frequency of mentioning in the text):

Access to the referenced scientific work (PDFs could be provided by the authors):

Huminiecki L, HorbaƄczuk J, Atanasov AG. The functional genomic studies of
curcumin. Semin Cancer Biol. 2017 Apr 6. pii: S1044-579X(17)30086-X. doi:
10.1016/j.semcancer.2017.04.002. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID:


Prof. Atanas G. Atanasov (Dr. habil., PhD)