Curcumin inhibits lipoxygenase by binding to its central cavity: theoretical and X-ray evidence.
Int J Mol Med. 2000 Nov;6(5):521-6. PMID: 11029517
Instrumentation Center, College of Art and Sciences, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, USA.
Many lipoxygenase inhibitors including curcumin are currently being studied for their anti-carcinogenic properties. Curcumin is a naturally occurring polyphenolic phytochemical isolated from the powdered rhizome of the plant Curcuma longa that possesses anti-inflammatory properties and inhibits cancer formation in mice. Recently it was shown that the soybean lipoxygenase L1 catalyzed the oxygenation of curcumin and that curcumin can act as a lipoxygenase substrate. In the current study, we investigated the fate of curcumin when used as a soybean lipoxygenase L3 substrate. By use of X-ray diffraction and mass spectrometry, we found an unoccupied electron mass that appears to be an unusual degradation product of curcumin (4-hydroxyperoxy-2-methoxyphenol) located near the soybean L3 catalytic site. Understanding how curcumin inhibits lipoxygenase may help in the development of novel anti-cancer drugs used for treatment where lipoxygenases are involved.