Curcumin decreases amyloid-beta peptide levels by attenuating the maturation of amyloid-beta precursor protein.
Gastroenterology. 2006 Jan;130(1):120-6. PMID: 20622013
Genetics and Aging Research Unit, MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129-2060, USA.
Alzheimer disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease with no cure. The pathogenesis of AD is believed to be driven primarily by amyloid-beta (Abeta), the principal component of senile plaques. Abeta is an approximately 4-kDa peptide generated via cleavage of the amyloid-beta precursor protein (APP). Curcumin is a compound in the widely used culinary spice, turmeric, which possesses potent and broad biological activities, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities, chemopreventative effects, and effects on protein trafficking. Recent in vivo studies indicate that curcumin is able to reduce Abeta-related pathology in transgenic AD mouse models via unknown molecular mechanisms. Here, we investigated the effects of curcumin on Abeta levels and APP processing in various cell lines and mouse primary cortical neurons. We show for the first time that curcumin potently lowers Abeta levels by attenuating the maturation of APP in the secretory pathway. These data provide a mechanism of action for the ability of curcumin to attenuate amyloid-beta pathology.