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Curcumin, a Major Constituent of Turmeric, Corrects Cystic Fibrosis Defects

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Science  23 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5670, pp. 600-602
DOI: 10.1126/science.1093941

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Abstract

Cystic fibrosis is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). The most common mutation, ΔF508, results in the production of a misfolded CFTR protein that is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum and targeted for degradation. Curcumin is a nontoxic Ca–adenosine triphosphatase pump inhibitor that can be administered to humans safely. Oral administration of curcumin to homozygous ΔF508 CFTR mice in doses comparable, on a weight-per-weight basis, to those well tolerated by humans corrected these animals' characteristic nasal potential difference defect. These effects were not observed in mice homozygous for a complete knockout of the CFTR gene. Curcumin also induced the functional appearance of ΔF508 CFTR protein in the plasma membranes of transfected baby hamster kidney cells. Thus, curcumin treatment may be able to correct defects associated with the homozygous expression of ΔF508 CFTR.

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