Abstract Title:

Curcumin, a medicinal herbal compound capable of inducing the heat shock response.

Abstract Source:

Crit Care Med. 2001 Nov;29(11):2199-204. PMID: 11700423

Abstract Author(s):

K E Dunsmore, P G Chen, H R Wong

Article Affiliation:

Division of Critical Care Medicine, Children's Hospital Medical Center and Children's Hospital Research Foundation. Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: There is interest in developing pharmacologic inducers of the heat shock response as a means to confer cytoprotection in the clinical setting. We propose that a potential strategy for screening novel pharmacologic inducers of the heat shock response is to examine known inhibitors of the transcription factor nuclear factor-kappaB. Curcumin, derived from the tropical herb Curcuma longa, is a recently described inhibitor of nuclear factor-kappaB and is widely used in Eastern medicinal practices. We tested the hypothesis that curcumin can induce expression of heat shock protein 70.

DESIGN: Experimental.

SETTING: University laboratory.

SUBJECTS: HeLa cells.

INTERVENTIONS: HeLa cells were exposed to varying concentrations of curcumin and analyzed for expression of heat shock protein 70 by Western blot.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Activation of the transcription factor, heat shock factor-1, was analyzed by electromobility shift assays. Curcumin-mediated inhibition of nuclear factor-kappaB activation was measured by transiently transfecting cells with a nuclear factor-kappaB luciferase reporter plasmid. The role of heat shock factor-1 in curcumin-mediated expression of heat shock protein 70 was tested in embryonic fibroblasts derived from heat shock factor-1 knockout mice. Induction of the heat shock response was quantified by transiently transfecting cells with a heat shock protein 70 promoter-luciferase reporter plasmid. Cell viability was measured by using the tetrazolium dye 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay. Curcumin induced expression of heat shock protein 70, the major inducible heat shock protein in cells undergoing the heat shock response, in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner. Curcumin induced specific nuclear translocation and activation of heat shock factor-1. Curcumin-mediated expression of heat shock protein 70 was reduced substantially in fibroblasts having genetic ablation of heat shock factor-1. The extent of induction of the heat shock response correlated, in part, with cellular toxicity.

CONCLUSIONS: Curcumin, a widely used medicinal compound, induces the heat shock response in vitro as measured by expression of heat shock protein 70. The mechanism of heat shock protein 70 induction depends on activation of heat shock factor-1. Examining known inhibitors of nuclear factor-kappaB for their ability to induce heat shock protein 70 may be a valid screening method to discover novel pharmacologic inducers of the heat shock response.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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