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      Anti cancer effects of curcumin: cycle of life and death

      , 1 , 1

      Cell Division

      BioMed Central

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          Abstract

          Increasing knowledge on the cell cycle deregulations in cancers has promoted the introduction of phytochemicals, which can either modulate signaling pathways leading to cell cycle regulation or directly alter cell cycle regulatory molecules, in cancer therapy. Most human malignancies are driven by chromosomal translocations or other genetic alterations that directly affect the function of critical cell cycle proteins such as cyclins as well as tumor suppressors, e.g., p53. In this respect, cell cycle regulation and its modulation by curcumin are gaining widespread attention in recent years. Extensive research has addressed the chemotherapeutic potential of curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a relatively non-toxic plant derived polyphenol. The mechanisms implicated are diverse and appear to involve a combination of cell signaling pathways at multiple levels. In the present review we discuss how alterations in the cell cycle control contribute to the malignant transformation and provide an overview of how curcumin targets cell cycle regulatory molecules to assert anti-proliferative and/or apoptotic effects in cancer cells. The purpose of the current article is to present an appraisal of the current level of knowledge regarding the potential of curcumin as an agent for the chemoprevention of cancer via an understanding of its mechanism of action at the level of cell cycle regulation. Taken together, this review seeks to summarize the unique properties of curcumin that may be exploited for successful clinical cancer prevention.

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          Most cited references 104

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          p53, the cellular gatekeeper for growth and division.

           A. Levine (1997)
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            CDK inhibitors: positive and negative regulators of G1-phase progression.

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              Cell death: critical control points.

              Programmed cell death is a distinct genetic and biochemical pathway essential to metazoans. An intact death pathway is required for successful embryonic development and the maintenance of normal tissue homeostasis. Apoptosis has proven to be tightly interwoven with other essential cell pathways. The identification of critical control points in the cell death pathway has yielded fundamental insights for basic biology, as well as provided rational targets for new therapeutics.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Cell Div
                Cell Division
                BioMed Central
                1747-1028
                2008
                3 October 2008
                : 3
                : 14
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Division of Molecular Medicine, Bose Institute, P-1/12 CIT Scheme VII M, Kolkata, 700054, India
                Article
                1747-1028-3-14
                10.1186/1747-1028-3-14
                2572158
                18834508
                Copyright © 2008 Sa and Das; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Review

                Cell biology

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